“For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, do not fear; I will help you.”    Isaiah 41:13 NIV 

I last wrote a reflection to you just prior to Ash Wednesday.  Quarantine Eve you could say. That may seem years ago.  We find ourselves in an unfamiliar country now.  The chain of disruption continues, the domino effect of one endeavor upon another in a pandemic is something none of us will ever forget.  And the odd imbalance, or paradox, of some groups of people working far too hard, and others not able to work at all.  We are not able to even visit beloved St. Anthony’s for retreat and rest.  

I want to share with you about how I seem to be holding my parents hands, in their old age, and in the new normal of Coronavirus.  They are still able to live in their home, and can do many things, but there are also many they cannot.  They have to trust that I will help them.  This can be as small as steadying my Mother’s step (holding her hand) as we walk, getting necessary supplies, to heavy tasks that require strong hands she or my father no longer have.  In a spiritual sense, I am holding their right hands, as Prophet Isaiah’s message says.  

We seem to be talking a great deal about hands in these troubled days.  So many volunteers have put holy hands to work for the vulnerable with food donations, sewing masks, and keeping children occupied.  They have offered their right hands in service.  Cooperating with the Holy Spirit, their hands are accomplishing the miraculous, without fear.  Some hands are even applauding health care workers as they make shift changes at hospitals!  My parish priest, Father Slowiak, would say that these things are “life giving”.  Indeed.  Miracles are always life giving.    

Perhaps, in this month devoted to Holy Mary, we can think of her as offering her right hand to us.  How strong her faith must have been, and is, to trust the Lord, her God to take her right hand and help her carry out His plan of Salvation.  Let’s spend some time this month in meditation with Our Holy Mother.  She can teach us about trust.  We can take her right hand in trust and fear not, because she will always lead us to The Great Physician, Jesus.

A take away:

Is there someone in your life that needs your spiritual right hand in the midst of this crisis?  Something you are in a unique position to do?  I think of St. Francis’ words, “I have done what was mine to do – may Christ teach you what is yours to do.”  Peace and Faith all around you.

–  Bruce LaCrosse  

As is my custom I share an artwork I’ve done on this theme.