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We are all inundated with the media’s messages on the coronavirus. We are all living in a different world than a couple of weeks ago – stores and restaurants are closed as well as schools and churches. We are told to stay home and to stay at least six feet away from others. We must keep washing our hands! All these messages are having a devastating effect on our inner life – our emotions and our spiritual life. 

I will be sending out Special Daily Treats to help with the fears, the isolation, the loneliness and the aggravation that we all feel. I firmly believe that this is as important a message as the precautions and the coronavirus number count. My regular Daily Treat will continue to be sent out early each morning. These Special Daily Treats will be sent out later in the day. 

I would especially love to hear from you and how you are doing along with your comments, questions and suggestions. My email address is: medardlaz@aol.com. This is the address I check throughout the day. 

Please listen to my Daily Treats on my Podcast. The email I send you each day has the title of the article underlined. Please click on the underlined title. You will then see the picture for the day along with the article. Just click on the triangle in the little green circle next to the Treats for the Soul logo and you can listen to the Podcast for that day. 

Please invite your family and your friends to subscribe. We need to assist each other through these trying times with help and strength from the Lord.     Blessings!!

Fr. Med Laz

The people really didn’t understand it. But, of course, they really had no way to know. How could they possibly know that it was contagious after there was very close contact? The only thing they knew about it was what it looked like and what it did to a person in the advanced stages. They knew it well. And that was enough for fear to take over.

I’m talking about the disease of “leprosy”. In a world in which leprosy has all but been eradicated, except in small pockets, we have not been able to appreciate the fear that accompanied this word in the ancient world of Jesus. But with the advent of the coronavirus, we are beginning to understand the way people in the past have felt.

The word “Coronavirus” is now bringing the same responses as the word “Plague” did in the 1200s, or “Small Pox” in the 1700s, “Spanish Flu” did in the early 1900s or“Aids” did in the late 1900s. It frightened them the way the coronavirus frightens us. We now join them in feeling helpless, as is truly the case. 

When fear takes over, people do not act, they react. And reactions to leprosy were both swift and cruel. People would be put to death by their own family. It seems incredible to us today, but on the edge of every large city in the ancient world huge pits were dug, and in those pits lived the lepers of the community.

If by some remote possibility, they did escape this hovel and venture out into the streets, they would be quickly greeted with shouts of “leper,” accompanied by stones to make them keep their distance. In Jesus’ day a leper by law could not get within fifty yards of a clean person. Today we are being told to stay at least six feet away from others. 

This was the heart of the matter. Not only did these wretched poor people have to endure the trials of an incurable affliction, they also were isolated from society and kept from the community of faith. The horror of disease led to a lifestyle of loneliness, isolation and hopelessness. Where could they find hope? Does this sound familiar as our places of worship are now closed?

The only friend a leper had was God himself. As you and I become isolated and alone because of the coronavirus, our closest friend is Jesus. The man with leprosy came to Jesus and begged him on his knees to be made clean. “Jesus was indignant. He reached out his hand and touched the man. (This was strictly forbidden, to touch a leper.) ‘I am willing,’he said. ‘Be clean!’ Immediately the leprosy left him and he was cleansed” (Mark 1:40-41).

Especially at a time like this, you and I long to be touched by someone who can calm our fears. Jesus is the right person who can do this. 

Thanks to Brett Blair for some of these ideas. 

The moment you wake up each morning, all your wishes and hopes for the day rush at you like wild animals. And the first job each morning consists in shoving it all back. In listening to that other voice, taking that other point of view, and letting that other, larger, stronger, and quieter life come flowing in to you.  

C.S. Lewis

Today, please listen to more than the media’s messages on the coronavirus. Please spend some significant time listening to that other voice within you – The Voice of the Lord!

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