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Lord, I am one of the people with chronic illness. I was hospitalized three times in four months with life-threatening conditions. I am at risk.

But my mind does not turn toward myself at this time. Rather, it turns toward families that accompany those who have contracted the coronavirus. Those on ventilators, fighting for life as their family members watch.

Lord, help the family members who watch their loved ones fight for their life. Lord, help them to make peace with the fact that they may have not taken the threat seriously until now. Be with them as they watch and ruminate.

Lord, help those on ventilators who fight for their lives. Be with them in this time when they fight to stay in this life yet surrender themselves to your care and possible afterlife with You.

Lord, help those at risk of contracting the virus. The healthcare workers, the first responders, and those who work in assisted living and nursing facilities. Keep them safe who only want to help and make people feel better and perhaps survive. And Lord, help them when they must decide who gets assistance and who doesn’t, when they must decide who gets a ventilator and who doesn’t, when they must decide.

Lord, help those who ride it out at home. The financial pressures may have existed with one or two jobs, now they have none and do not know when work may begin anew. Help the children. Help the spouses.

Lord, help those who watch in anger as people frolic on the beaches. Some playing volleyball, tag football, weightlifting on equipment that may or may not have been properly cleaned. Who may have the attitude that the coronavirus does not affect them. They are young, healthy and have the attitude that they will ride out the illness if they contract it; the flu kills more each year. They do not think of those with whom they may come in contact, especially those who are older or with chronic illnesses for whom the virus can be deadly.

Lord, this has been a time of surprises too. The generosity of those who have donated funds to those unemployed and underemployed. Those who have volunteered in many ways: to go shopping, to clean, to give blood, to give live virtual concerts to fans stuck at home. The zoos that live-stream animals giving their shows. It has also been a time of sad surprises, like the hoarding behavior of individuals to make profit during these rough times.

Lord, the U.S. and world economies suffer. Help all those who own businesses survive these times. Help them to meet payroll or keep their employees employed during this time of furlough. Help those who continue to work: construction workers, pharmacists, grocers, postal, public services, etc.

Lord, this will be a strange Holy Week and Easter. No public celebrations. No blessing of the oils and their distribution at a Mass. No washing of the feet on Holy Thursday. No kissing of the cross on Good Friday. No Easter fire at the entrance of the church or people becoming Christians or Catholics at the Vigil. No Easter egg hunts with children on Easter Sunday. Perhaps, we will know your loneliness during this week and your Resurrection like never before. All your friends have deserted you. You stand alone. You rise alone. A few family and close friends were nearby as you died alone. Lord, be with us come what may as we watch and pray.

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