Bishop Ricken

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The Most Rev. David L. Ricken is the 12th bishop of the Diocese of Green Bay.

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Faith in the time of COVID-19

By Bishop David Ricken | April 2, 2020

These last few weeks have felt like a dream. It’s become so easy to lose track of what day it is, not only because our routines have been tossed aside, but because it seems so much is happening so fast. I don’t know about you, but I have to remind myself that it’s only been a few weeks, not months or even years.

We are all experiencing something so new that it’s like waking in the middle of the night and needing to make our way to the bathroom in a house we don’t know. We might catch faint glimpses of light to guide us, but we’re not certain where a wall or a piece of furniture might trip us up. So we walk slowly and hope not to smack into something too hard.

In the midst of all this, I want to use my column this week to share three thoughts with you that have been on my heart. I hope that my words can be a source of inspiration and comfort to you.

First, we need to open the doors of our hearts and let Jesus in. God is filled with oceans of merciful love. He wants to pour out his love on the whole human race and all of creation. Each one of you, accept the invitation to receive that merciful love.

As you do, your mind and heart might be filled with remorse. That is the invitation to repent. Get down on your knees, physically or spiritually, and tell Jesus how sorry you are for hurting him and other people in your life. Let the tears come, let the sorrow and remorse come because after the tears and remorse, glory will begin to shine.

Second, in this time of great need, we need to expect and accept miracles. In the Gospel this past week, we saw Jesus raising his friend Lazarus from the dead. What a miracle that is! Jesus is alive today, he is still working! But he respects our human freedom so much that he won’t force himself on anyone, even if it’s for a miracle. We have to ask.

So pray, pray, pray for miracles for those doing medical research. Ask for miracles for health care professionals, for their protection, for their health. And those of you who are doctors and nurses and staff and volunteers, be ready to see miracles happen through you. Let Jesus work through you.

Pray for miracles for the healing of the sick patients in our hospitals and in our homes. I have already heard of at least two stories happening through prayer, of people being completely healed, leaving ventilators behind. Because people have prayed for them, they unexpectedly are living.

When the Holy Spirit is set free and gets active, people will get out of the sick beds, restored to full health. Let’s ask the Blessed Mother and St. Joseph and St. Michael and the all the angels and saints in heaven to completely disable the COVID-19 pandemic. Send it packing into oblivion.

Third, we pray in the Our Father every day, “Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” Let’s ask the Holy Spirit to usher in the full establishment of his kingdom. With Christ, the King of all nations and of the universe, let God’s glory reign!

Brothers and sisters, pray boldly. Lay claim to your authority in Christ. Pray boldly with confidence and trust. Do not give in to fear, do not give in to discouragement. These are the tools of the enemy. I want God to win this one, don’t you? Let’s pray together, let’s believe, let’s exercise our faith powerfully. God could do this by himself, but he has chosen not to because he wants you and me to pray with faith and to pray for our brothers and sisters for healing and restoration. May God’s Kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven!

Know that you are in my prayers and please pray for me as well. With Christ by our side, we will get through this together. God bless you!

Follow Bishop Ricken on Twitter at @BpDavidRicken.

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