In today's Holy Scriptures we read in Isaiah 1:10, 16-20 - WASH YOURSELVES CLEAN! We can take that literally in view of the current Coronavirus issue. Yes - it is always smart to keep yourself - surroundings - clean - free from dirt that you can see - free from germs that you cannot see. It is imperative - not an option - that people keep their senses about them. There are a lot of ridiculous things being published almost everywhere promoting crazy things people are doing - afraid that they will get sick - die. Drinking pure alcohol not meant for human consumption - drinking bleach which will burn their throat and stomach - all will cause death - not from the virus - rather from idiotic actions. If you find yourself in one of the higher risk groups - do the simple things that make sense - are proven ways to avoid the virus. Number one - wash your hands - do not touch your mouth - face. Next - avoid crowds - it is Lent so a great time to sacrifice - avoid public events - stay away from the movies - sporting events - even church. Yes - if you are at high risk - better to stay home and watch services on TV or online - than risk sitting for an hour or more among those who may be carriers of the virus without their knowledge. Thousands of people each year are exposed to the seasonal flu - get a few sniffles - maybe a runny nose - without it getting worse. They will say they had a cold - that is a virus also - not realizing they had a mild case of the flu - now a carrier of that virus which they innocently spread to others - even just by their breath - talking with others while making no physical contact. Viruses spread in the air as a primary means of transmission. You will never see it coming. For myself and wife - since we are in that older group - limiting our excursions outside the house - keeping active by ourselves - mostly in isolation. Cycling in the desert with no body around except for a few snakes - coyotes. Our house is like a walled in isolation chamber - our entire living space isolated even from the neighbors. If we elect to stay home from church - remember Arizona is filled with the demographic most likely to get the virus - we will attend church via our home parish streaming service. To view - visit Saint Patrick Church and scroll down the welcome page to "Live Stream". We may miss receiving Holy Eucharist but that is a sacrifice we can make this Lent - to protect ourselves and those around us. As you can see in the photos below we already live in a cloistered environment. Notice all the walls.
Isaiah's proclamation to wash clean was targeted at the people of Sodom and Gomorrah but still applies to each of us today. It is not only our hands - body - homes - that need to be washed clean - also our spirit - the thoughts that we think - the doubts - fears - lack of trust - that we carry in our minds - hearts. As we walk these days of trials during Lent - we must remove all that from ourselves that create a roadblock to holiness. We worship God first in our minds - hearts - secondly in the way we live. As Christians we walk each day trusting that Jesus - God will carry us safely to Easter.