May 3, 2020: Reflection Fourth Sunday of Easter… May 3, 2020

by Sr. Margaret Proskovec, ND

“I came so that they might have life and have it more abundantly.”  [Jn. 10:10]

This Sunday’s first reading from Acts holds a question that reverberates all over the earth in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. “What are we to do?” [Acts 2:37]  Many are weary of isolation from the dreaded disease and the extreme limits on our accustomed activities that now are necessary.  Concern for the ill and loved ones draws those who dare to go to their side or offer assistance while exercising great care regarding potential consequences.  First responders, medical personnel, and those who serve in nursing homes, rehab facilities, prisons, and such are heroically at the forefront of selfless service and care for the most vulnerable.  We also hear voices urging us to go back to work and life as we wish it could be; we hear other voices urging us to hold back lest we contribute to the uncontrolled spread of this rampant illness.  “What are we to do?”

Psalm 23 reminds us that our God guides us in right paths [v.3] and Jesus urges us to listen for and trust the voice of the shepherd to guide us where we might have life and have it more abundantly. [Jn. 10:10]

These words lead me to reflect on the ways I can recognize God’s voice in the midst of confusion, doubt, suffering, and countless contradictory other voices.  How can I tell? “What am I to do?”

Some guidelines offered by our faith are:

  • How is what I hear consistent with the Word of God in the Scriptures?
  • What values are voiced that reflect God’s values as lived and taught by Jesus?
  • What would lead to the gifts that come from the Spirit of God?  Love, joy, peace, patience, generosity, kindness, gentleness, self-control, purity.

Prayer:  [by St. Teresa of Avila]
Beloved Shepherd, grant that I may allow myself to be guided by your voice, follow your designs, and accomplish your desires.  Grant that in all things, great and small, today and all the days of my life, I may do whatever you call forth from me.  Help me to respond to the promptings of your grace, so that I may be your trustworthy instrument.  May your will be done by me, in me, and through me.  Amen.