As of yesterday, there were 153,517 cases of the COVID-10 virus, or the new Coronavirus. Of those cases, 5,735 have died. That is a rate of death of 3.7%. For comparison, the Seasonal Flu death rate is under 0.1%. That means, that the COVID-19 virus is much deadlier, and at present we have limited treatment options.
Now, most people who get sick with COVID-19 will be fine. Realize the mortality rate of 3.7% represents all cases. In Italy it is 6.8%. In Iran it is 4.8%. And as the situation in these two countries have likely not peaked, the death toll percentages might grow.
In terms of how we personally react to this new virus, are we like Naaman the Syrian? Is it the case that we discredit expert medical advice because we really do not want to believe it? Do we see it as a political attack? Do we think because we live in a country that is so wealthy, like the United States, that somehow we are immune to what has happened in other first world countries?
God acted in the first reading in a very ordinary way. Elisha did not do anything extraordinary to cure Naaman. Rather, it was so oh very ordinary. Simply wash in the Jordan. That’s it.
When we hear of the Jordan River, we should think of our baptism. We have been given new and eternal life in what appears to be a most ordinary way. A little water poured on the head of a baby. But the truth is, this ordinary action has extraordinary significance.
Charity can seem like a very ordinary thing. But it is not. This is a time not to be like Naaman, but to trust in God who still does extraordinary things in ordinary ways.
Let us pray.
Dear Jesus, I let my prejudices get in the way of my faith. And I can expect you to always act in miraculous ways, when in fact you may give us the ordinary way to healing through the gift of our own reason. Help me to trust more fully in you and the gifts you have given us. I make this prayer in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Music: Cheezy Piano Medley by Alexander Nakarada