The Covid-19 era is encouraging -or even forcing us to dive into the depths of our soul. People split from each other or form new associations and alliances. Most of us, redefine who we are, in some way, either willingly, consciously, or because we have to. As goes the motto of my life “Since we will definitely die, let us live first! “
Yet, the answers we come up with, are not to blame for this shift. It is the question itself that is different than any other we may recall. In the years of the economic crisis, in the decade between 2008 and 2018, the question was “How shall we live, with what means?” The question asked by Covid-19 starts with “IF we live”. And that changes, deepens and accelerates the answers, makes them more urgent, spontaneous, authentic and direct, making our deepest truth almost inevitable: It’s now or never.
To put it in the words of the gospel, life calls us to “Let the dead bury their own dead.”
This may sound and seem unpleasant, but it is liberating for everyone, whether they like it or not.
Let me give you an example. When, on Easter day the Myrophorae, the Myrrhbearers, go to the tomb of Christ and see it empty, with the stone removed and the angel sitting on the stone and asking them what they were looking for, if we were to follow the logic of the naysayers, those women disciples should despair and let their fear get the better of them, assuming that all they believed in was over and gone, because Christ’s grave was empty. Well, nothing like it! As the story goes, that empty tomb was not the end, but the beginning.
Life can be hard, there is no denying it, but it is not just a grave. The life we need and want, the life we are promised by God and the universal experience, is in fact, a call to resurrection.
All we need to do, is follow this revolutionary divine command, follow the path for which we are designed and destined, the path our soul seeks.
Let me remind you of that famous instance of the discussion of Christ with one of his disciples (you can find it in Mathew 8: 21-22):
«Lord», one of the disciples asked, «give me first permission to go and bury my father», that is, attend to his elderly father till his death, «and then I’ll follow you». And the Lord replied to him, “Follow me, and let the dead bury their own dead.”
What Christ told him was to focus on his calling. In other words, He said: «don’t neglect the high spiritual calling I’ve given you; let the spiritually dead attend to the mundane tasks of life», almost certainly the greed among siblings and family, that would follow the father’s death and that would derail the disciple’s calling, and get him to burry his passion.
Life exists because it adapts and continues. We cannot live on, mourning over the dinosaurs, although we may feel curious about their fate. Guess what: most of those creatures, did not adapt.
There are people who make business playing around with the souls of people, with their fears and hopes, who move at them scarecrows and ghosts from time to time, to captivate people who are in any kind of weakness or distress. But the truth is different.
Crises have preceded and will come again. World War I brought dramatic changes in science, technology and medicine. In 1929, with the Great Depression, those who adapted to the new data, put forward new inventions, from the zipper to the electric washing machine.
With the first wave of the pandemic, big international companies set aside the production of perfumes to make antiseptics, and clothing companies began making masks.
The British still remember and are proud of their «Keep Calm and Carry on» response, with which they faced The Blitz, the bombings of World War II.
Every time there is a war, an economic crisis or a pandemic, they are forcing humanity to find solutions. That’s what we need to do now, what we’re going to do now. We will find solutions and continue to live, to create, to be close to God, to love, to be scared but to move forward, as we do from the time humankind lived in caves, to the Golden Age of Classical Athens, to the present day.
All we need is keep calm and move forward!