Remember that feeling when you were 4 or 5 years old, knowing your mom would be there to pick you up soon? The school day was almost over. Suddenly tired, anticipation teetered toward a meltdown.
Or that moment late in the evening, bedtime on the horizon, when your overtired toddler was on the brink of falling apart?
That could be us right now in the COVID-19 pandemic — it’s the end of the day; bedtime is close.
With herd immunity in our sights, we have to hold it together a little longer. We have to continue our safety measures, such as wearing masks and practicing good hygiene.
We are tired, but we can do it.
If not for ourselves, let’s do it in memory of the more than half a million souls — our loved ones — who lost their lives to this terrible virus.
The United States marked 500,000 deaths on Feb. 22. About a month before, Cardinal Wilton Gregory of Washington, D.C., commemorated the then-400,000 people who had died, praying for their “peace and comfort” at a special memorial service.
He noted that the Jan. 19 service was an opportunity to “pray for those who have died and the families and loved ones that they left behind … not as strangers or disinterested persons, but as fellow citizens who share some limited portion of their grief and sorrow.”
His invocation that night was a reminder that the American people have become one in our grief.
“Our sorrow unites us to one another as a single people with compassionate hearts,” the cardinal said. “May our prayer strengthen our awareness of our common humanity and our national unity at a time when harmony is a balm that seeks to comfort and strengthen us as a single people facing a common threat that is no respecter of age, race, culture or gender.”
Unity has been elusive in the United States for some time. But in Kentucky, we’ve done a good job of fighting COVID-19 together. And it’s too soon to declare victory just yet.
We are just entering phase 1c, which means vaccines are being made available to those 60 and older, as well as essential workers and those with underlying health conditions, including pregnancy.
But it will take quite a while to inoculate them all and to administer vaccines to the remaining groups. In the meantime, we need to continue patiently protecting one another with our well-practiced precautions in service to the common good.
COVID-19 Prayer of Solidarity
For all who have contracted coronavirus,
we pray for care and healing.
For those who are particularly vulnerable,
we pray for safety and protection.
For all who experience fear or anxiety,
we pray for peace of mind and spirit.
For affected families who are facing difficult decisions
between food on the table or public safety,
we pray for policies that recognize their plight.
For those who do not have adequate health insurance,
we pray that no family will face financial burdens alone.
For those who are afraid to access care due to immigration status,
we pray for recognition of the God-given dignity of all.
For our brothers and sisters around the world,
we pray for shared solidarity.
For public officials and decisionmakers,
we pray for wisdom and guidance.
Father, during this time may your Church be a sign of hope,
comfort and love to all.
Grant peace. Grant comfort. Grant healing.
Be with us, Lord.
USCCB Office of Justice, Peace & Human Development 2020