"Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. " 1 Thessalonians 5;16-18
In Living Well Through Lent 2021, Robin Brent makes an important point about this passage:
"Scripture encourages us to be grateful in all things, not necessarily to be grateful for all things."
I don't think anyone would say that we should be grateful for a year-long pandemic that resulted in millions of deaths worldwide and unimaginable suffering for those who lost loved ones, jobs, health and finances.
However, at the same time, we can be grateful that good things have happened in this dark time of chaos and struggle.
In response to COVID 19 there have been major medical breakthroughs in the production of several effective life-saving vaccines. Now, millions are receiving vaccinations.
We have witnessed the heroism of health care workers, first responders and essential workers who have risked their lives and well-being on a daily basis.
Maps have shown a decrease in the pollution of our Earth because of less green house gases emitted from motor vehicles.
New technologies, like Zoom have helped us to connect with loved ones and provided platforms for sharing. In the last year, my faith community, Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community expanded our members more than two-fold because participants could celebrate inclusive liturgies with us on cyberspace from around the country and the world.
While the future is unknown, there is much to be grateful for as we work together to eradicate COVID 19, to grow more connected, and to heal our planet.
Today and everyday, i will rejoice, pray and be grateful in these circumstances, knowing that grace, courage and compassion abounds.