“  To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

   A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;

   A  time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance.”

Well known lines from Ecclesiastes 3.  It is probably true that for many of us the coronavirus, and the effect it is having on our lives, has given us  some time that we did not have before.  One must start by applauding those thousands and thousands of people who have put themselves forward as volunteers in so many different ways to help the many overstretched services that are trying to cope with this deadly virus. 

One of the other very useful ways, Carolyn and myself have found to fill this time, is by corresponding, by phone, email or FaceTime, with family and friends around the country, and even further away, letting them know how we are, and more importantly finding out how they are coping during these difficult times.  It would seem very appropriate that our Gospel reading from John told us of Jesus’ visit to see his good friend Lazarus, and his sisters Martha and Mary, on hearing that Lazarus was unwell.  Even more striking in this story is the very open emotion, “Jesus began to weep”, that our Lord showed on the apparent death of Lazarus.  Sometimes in the Gospel stories it seems that Jesus is uncaring about his family, yet that could not be further from the truth, for Jesus’ whole being is to bring love and healing to all he meets, as he does to his friend Lazarus.  Yet Jesus is also critically aware of the path his Father has set him on, and nothing, or no one shall divert him from it.  So we move ever closer to the culmination of that path, to Good Friday, the cross and the joy of Easter Day.

There is, as is written in Ecclesiastes, a time for all things and there will be an end, when we are out of the clutches of this deadly virus, and it is to be hoped and prayed, that when that time comes, we remember to stay in touch with those whom we love and hold dear, perhaps a little more often than we have done in the past.