The frustration aches deep down as we remain unable to gather in our churches and celebrate Mass as we have in every other year. I share the pain this causes for all of us.

Every one of us wishes we could gather with our families as we have for generations, hug our grandparents and grandchildren, and simply have the joy of being together.

But we simply cannot wish away the reality that the virus is surging throughout our communities here in West TN. We cannot ignore the growing number of family and friends who are afflicted. Our hospitals are at risk of being overwhelmed. The compassionate mercy of God calls every one of us to do our part and make sacrifices to protect the old, the sick and the vulnerable.

This year, each of us can be a sacramental work of Christ’s mercy by wearing a mask, keeping physical distance, attending Mass outdoors or online, and praying for those who are threatened by the virus as well as those who protect us from infection.

We can’t let our disappointments keep us from finding him again amidst the unexpected tribulations of this Pandemic.

With patience and humility may we find His tender mercy in the way we reverently safeguard one another during these trying times.

May the intercession of our Blessed Mother Mary join with our prayers for God’s mercy to end the pandemic, bring healing to the afflicted, protection and perseverance to those who care for them.

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