January 12.    Covid.   What did we learn?  Sr Margaret reflected, “Covid very much caught everyone unawares at first in 2020. There was concern, great fear and even denial.  All kinds of rules were formulated about wearing masks and sanitizing and washing.  One of the most painful aspects for families was the fact that traditional practices around death and burial were banned. Traditionally a body has to be washed before burial but contact with a dead body was prohibited and protective clothing had to be worn against infection with the virus. Due to lack of contact all of humanity was forced to abandon many activities and habits, making us more vulnerable and dependent.  Mixed emotions around disease led to a lot of mental stress for all ages.  At the same time a greater sense of care and a degree of universal solidarity was created, although churches were closed and could offer only limited spiritual and psychological support. After three years have we retained some of the sense of concern for others and a less frenetic lifestyle? Not sufficiently,” she decided. Sr Margaret decided to make it her life’s work to address the issue of building solidarity and aiming for a simpler lifestyle.  

Scripture.  A leper came to Jesus begging him and kneeling said to him, “If you will you can make me clean.”  Mark 1:40. 

Pope Francis. Once this health crisis passes our worst response would be to plunge ever more deeply into feverish consumerism and new forms of egotistic self preservation.  God willing, after all this, we will think no longer in terms of “them” and “those” but only of “us.”  FT 35.  Reflection and Sharing. What have we learned from Covid and do we need to begin again to change our attitudes?