Do Not Be Afraid

I am writing this on Thursday as the Coronavirus, Covid-19, is dominating the news. The chief medical officer is warning that a nationwide epidemic is looking “likely”. Because of the current situation, we have listened to the advice of the Bishops of England and Wales and changed some of the ways we do things at Mass. These changes are listed elsewhere in the newsletter. My question is; “Does my life of faith make a difference to my attitude to this present crisis?” The psalms point us in the right direction. In Psalm 26 we read, “the Lord is my light and my help; whom shall I fear?”

In this time of crisis, there are those who are very fearful with some people resorting to panic buying. In the Old Testament we have the story of Queen Esther. She has to face her husband and plead for her people, the Jewish nation, who are threaten with annihilation. Her prayer in preparation for this meeting is, “Remember Lord; reveal yourself in the time of our distress”. She asks for courage and that she may find the right words to use. She then goes into the presence of the king. We need to ask for healing of our fear. We pray for all those who are involved caring for the sick and all in the NHS who are managing the crisis. We pray for those who are anxious about their livelihood and loss of earnings. We ask for guidance in the best ways to tackle this disease. We ask for wisdom in learning from the way the virus arose and spread and how we can use this learning to plan for the future.

Here is a prayer I found.

Jesus Christ, you travelled through towns and villages “curing every disease and illness.” At your command, the sick were made well. Come to our aid now, in the midst of the global spread of the coronavirus, that we may experience your healing love. Heal those who are sick with the virus. May they regain their strength and health through quality medical care.

Heal us from our fear, which prevents nations from working together and neighbours from helping one another.

Heal us from our pride, which can make us claim invulnerability to a disease that knows no borders.

Canon Father Anthony Charlton
Canon Father Anthony CharltonParish Priest