"I give praise to you, Father, Lord of Heaven and earth, for although you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned you have revealed them to little ones. Yes, Father, such has been your gracious will. All things have been handed over to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son wishes to reveal him" (Matt 11:25-27).
Even in the face of the continuing suffering of the Coronavirus, bear in mind that pagans and Jews had the same hardships of life to face as we have, and even greater ones. They earned their daily bread with the sweat of brow and body. Their illnesses were more frequent and less bearable than ours, for they had not the medical help that we have. Death came to young and old then as it does now, but for them, it was a final parting from loved ones, and no hope of a future happy meeting served to lighten their sorrow. All their crosses were crushing weights, sent to make life more miserable. Life on earth was passed in gloom and darkness and there was no shining star in the heavens to beckon them on or give them hope.
Surely God is good to us, to put us into this world at this day and age, and give us the light of faith, and the knowledge of God and of His loving plans for us, which make the burdens of this life so relatively light and even so reasonable for us. We still have to earn our bread. We still have sickness and pains. We still have death stalking the earth, but unlike the people before Christ we now see a meaning to all these trials.
The yoke of Christ is not really a yoke but a bond of love, which joins us to Him, and through Him, to our loving Father in heaven. The rule of life which He asks us to keep, if we are loyal followers of His, is not a series of prohibitions and don'ts. It is rather a succession of sign-posts on the straight road to heaven, making our journey easier and safer. He does ask us to carry our cross daily, that is, to bear the burden of each day's duty, but once the cross is grasped firmly and lovingly it ceases to be a burden.
Ours is a world that is in an all-out search for new idols. It is a world which has left the path marked out by Christ, and forgotten or tried to forget, that man's life does not end with death. To be a Christian and to have the light of faith to guide our steps in this neo-pagan darkness, is surely a gift, and a blessing from God, for which we can never thank Him enough. Thank you, God, for this gift. Please give us the grace and the courage to live up to it and to die in the certainty that we shall hear, as we shut our eyes on the light of this world, the consoling words, "come you blessed of my Father, possess the kingdom prepared for you."