Sisters and priests have always been on the frontlines – not just when there is a crisis or a disaster, but every day. They work in the most remote areas, setting up and running schools, colleges, hostels, health centers, hospitals and social development initiatives.
While we go through this devastating and heart-breaking pandemic, it is good to remember that this is not the first time the Church has faced such a situation in her 2000 years. In the past, Christians have been pioneers in caring for the sick and burying the dead. The articles linked here explain in detail how the Church has responded each time in the face of suffering. Interestingly, did you know that the Catholic Church was instrumental in the invention of the hospital as we know it today? This article explains how.
Today, in India also, sisters and priests – though a minority – stand shoulder to shoulder with all other frontline workers, providing medical care, relief, food, sanitation and spiritual support. For example, we have Sister Doctors across the country breaking their bodies to care for the sick. Unfortunately, this has led to a great loss to the Church in India. Till date, we have lost over 150 priests and 150 sisters to Covid.
They have given their lives in the service of the Lord and neighbor. To honor their lives, let the rest of us help where we can, while taking the necessary precautions and never ceasing to pray for those who feel scared or alone.
History teaches us – this too shall pass. The Church teaches us – you are not alone. God climbed down from heaven knowing that suffering was inevitable, but He would not leave us to suffer alone.