March 24, 2020 – Call to Conversion

"See, you are well! Sin no more, that nothing worse befall you" (Jn 5,14).

Some would see in the coronavirus a divine punishment for man's sins. Christ, when asked about the man born blind, rejects the notion that sickness is punishment for an individual's sins. Neither he sinned nor his parents, that he was born blind, but so that God might be glorified (Jn 9:3). Elsewhere Christ sees indicates one may sse catastrophes and injustice as a call to repentance and conversion. (Lk 13,1-5)

In a televised interview on Sunday, Cardinal Schönborn in this vein expressed the hope, that "some rethinking is done in economic matters, but also in regards to the personal lifestyle of each one of us…. is it necessary to fly for the weekend to London to go shopping? Is it necessary to spend Christmas on the Maldives? Is it necessary to take a luxury cruise with 4000 people on a ship? Do there have to be 200,000 aircraft flights a day?

It is not a matter of refraining from what is in human power to hinder suffering and sickness, but of, more than this, seeing the big picture from a perspective of faith and christian hope. We have the certitude of faith, God does not abandon us, and for those who love him, he leads all things to good. (Rom 8,28) And does that also through the rethinking, changes and conversion for which a pandemic and its consequences can be the occasion.

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