Earlier this week, Pope Francis through the Congregation for Divine Worship provided a new Mass for celebration during times of a pandemic. The Mass includes special prayers and readings, which were used today for our livestream Mass. The Gospel is the very same used for the Urbi et Orbi prayer service last Friday at St. Peter’s in Rome.

Once again, I encourage you to read the reflection of Pope Francis.

Today, and every Friday during the duration of this pandemic, we will pray for all those who have died from the coronavirus. If you wish to share a name with us, you may do so by visiting the webpage of the Cathedral of St. James in Seattle. There you will find a place to offer your prayer intentions, and you may use that link to submit names of loved ones who have died.

As a world-wide, human family, we are in a storm now as we confront this new COVID-19 virus. It has no favorites, and discriminates not. This new virus is the great equalizer. We face this new world-wide contagion together, very much like the disciples in the boat with Jesus.

The telling moment from Mark’s Gospel (4:35-41) follows the calming of the storm, when Jesus asks the disciples: “Why are you terrified? Do you not yet have faith?”

The threat of being contaminated with this virus, or perhaps even worse, of transmitting it to someone else certainly provokes a realm of emotions, fear being one of them. We certainly pray in these times for the Lord to provide a vaccination and medications to help protect and heal us from this new virus.

But, beyond that, what evokes terror within us? Do we not recognize that Jesus has power over all things? Perhaps our greatest fear is in this ‘handing over all’ to Jesus?

Let us ask the Holy Spirit to help us prayerfully discern what our greatest fear is at this time. Then, let us ask Jesus for the faith to entrust it to him, and to trust that he has the power to calm even this storm in our world and in our lives.


Today’s Mass and Homily: