This is Our Faith
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By Eddie Perez

 How can we be hopeful amid the COVID-19 pandemic? As we check in with one another during this pandemic, we hear of trials and tribulations. Many of us have experienced a loss in income, been ill, or have lost a loved one.

 Our minds may be flooded with questions. Will our family be okay? Is it too dangerous to go to the market? Do we have enough savings? What if we transmit the coronavirus within our families? These can be genuine concerns and the questions can seem endless. The reality is many are living in fear, rather than hope.

 So how can we be hopeful? As one of the three theological virtues, hope can only be acquired through God’s grace. Hope, like any virtue, nonetheless, is a habit. The reality is, God’s grace can only come to fruition within us if we allow it to. In this sense, we need to nurture these habits and train ourselves to be a person of hope.

 In this process, we cannot ignore the real pain and suffering that many in our communities are enduring. We cannot provide empty words that perpetuate a false sense of hope which is short-lived. Our hope is real, tangible, and rooted in The Living Word - Christ, himself.

 We place a certain degree of hope in our caregivers, nurses, doctors, and people in positions of leadership. However, as Christians, our hope is definitively rooted in God. Our Catholic faith teaches us that Christ has conquered death! This is the Easter message! Let us never forget that in the end, light conquers darkness and we are always called to trust in God’s Divine Providence. While the faith of some may be shaken, the Church leads all to anchor our hope in Christ all the more. Christ is the ultimate provider for our families, the divine healer, and the chief physician.

 Central to our Diocesan Vision, hope needs to shine in our lives and is inseparable from our Catholic faith! While we care for those around us, let us strive to be a loving reflection of God’s presence. Yes, they will know we are Christians by our love. But as we live as an Easter People of Hope amid COVID-19, they will also know we are Christians by our faith and hope in Christ!

Eddie Perez is the Low Desert and Riverside Coordinator for the Office of Catechetical Ministry.