Father Mike Paraniuk, pastor of St. Mary Catholic Church in Hillsboro, is pictured in the WLRU studio.
Father Mike Paraniuk, pastor of St. Mary Catholic Church in Hillsboro, is pictured in the WLRU studio.
By Fr. MIKE PARANIUK
St. Mary Catholic Church


Life is so fickle.

Only four weeks ago, people were going to work, kids were learning in school, the faithful were praying in church, restaurants and bars were filled with happy patrons, many in betting pools were getting ready to fill out their March Madness brackets, the grocery stores were stocked to the gills and fish fries were providing family fun on a Friday night. The economy was riding high with record stock prices and the highest employment.

Four weeks later, none of this is true.

The coronavirus has turned our sense of security into a mist vanishing in the wind. Many are hurting, wondering where they will get money to pay the rent or buy their next meal.

We are locked in our homes, devoid of human contact with the outside world for fear of getting this plague and dying.

Jesus never knew security in this world. Remember what He said in Matthew 8:20: “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.”

Jesus knew not only how life was unpredictable, but He also knew the fickleness of the human heart. It’s Palm Sunday. Everyone is praising Him as King, yelling “Hosanna” and laying their cloaks on the road.

Just one week later, that same crowd would be condemning Him, yelling “Crucify Him!” and laying a cross on His back.

How we do cope with life when the bottom falls out from under our feet? How did Jesus keep the faith as He hung on a cross of nails?

We find our hope in Luke 23:46: “Jesus called out with a loud voice, ‘Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.’ When he had said this, he breathed his last.”

Until His last breath, Jesus continually placed His life into the secure, unchanging, ever-loving Hands of His Father. In this current crisis, you must do the same. Your spiritual survival depends on you placing all your anxieties, fears and worries into the hands of your Father. Like Jesus, you must keep faith that your Father will bring victory at the moment when all seems lost.

The security we place in money is here today and gone tomorrow, but no virus can defeat God’s unchanging care for you. That’s real security.

I close with this prayer: “God, I put everything into your hands today. My family, my health, my home, my security, my fears, my hopes, my feelings, my burdens. You are the only one I trust with all I have and all I am. Everything that is precious to me I place into your loving hands. Thanks for holding them for me when I cannot do it myself. Amen.”