Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. (Galatians 6:9)
Paul’s letter to the Galatians contains, in part, guidelines for living a faith-filled life. One of those recommendations strikes me as particularly relevant to the situation we all find ourselves in with the COVID-19 outbreak.
If I may offer a very brief and high level summary of our recent experience, we first heard about this virus as a foreign malady that we hoped would stay away from our lives. Then it became an issue closer to home and we began to adjust some behaviors. Then it became a crisis and our lives changed: events were cancelled, schools were closed. As teachers and administrators we had to scramble to devise ways to keep our students engaged with their education while we all had to avoid being near each other. New issues continually emerged, and each was addressed and resolved as well as possible as we waited for the next issue.
All of this has taken an enormous amount of energy. Like any short term crisis, we were tired, but we were focused and driven to come through the crisis safe and whole. In a short term crisis, we know we could rest later. This, however, is not a short term crisis. This life altering germ will continue to challenge us for weeks and months and perhaps even years to come. Even when the rate of infection slows and the number of deaths is reduced, our society will have been changed which will require more adjustments, more energy.
Paul reminds us, however, that we can do this. We need to remind ourselves and focus on the idea that what we are doing is important, and “good.” Our children are our future. Our Catholic schools, with dedicated teachers and a moral compass infused throughout the curriculum, are essential to ensure that these children will grow up valuing faith, hope and charity.
We are, undoubtedly, weary. What Paul wants us to remember is that we cannot give up and that, in time, we will see the results of our labor and know that it was all worth the effort.