Good afternoon!

This last year has introduced many new terms into our vocabulary and one of these terms is ‘essential workers’.

Essential workers include doctors, nurses, supermarket staff etc. while other work is considered non-essential.

Of course these terms can cause quite a bit of upset, especially for us spiritual folks.

For us prayer is essential, keeping Jesus company at the blessed sacrament is essential, intercession prayer and reparation are essential and indeed very important for the future of the world.

However as our world leaders only see the human side they sadly only seem to see that those who keep our human bodies alive are essential.

In some ways it exhalts work over prayer and is a fruit of the contemporary mentalities of both rationalism and activism.

Spiritual things and so spiritual people are seen as non-essential for 2 reasons.

1. A disbelief in spiritual realities. It can’t be important if it doesn’t exist

2. A dissociation between the spiritual world and the physical world. In other words prayer doesn’t influence the material realm.

Yet both of these mentalities are completely wrong because firstly the spiritual world is real and secondly the spiritual world does influence the physical world.

Yet in response to the virus how many world leaders have urged us to pray for God’s intervention? How many have told us that we cannot go outside without a rosary beads or some sort of spiritual protection?

And while the medical world are working hard and deserve our support, what about all those people silently praying and making sacrifices for the world, the sick and for the essential workers!

God is a good God and is not unable nor is He unwilling to help us in this global crisis. So why isn’t He asked and why aren’t the pleadings of Our Lady for us to pray more headed?

Obviously our world leaders do not see these things or people as ‘essential’ and aren’t we in a very worrying situation when our world leaders are in discord with God.

And so as I sit here in front of Jesus present in the blessed sacrament I ask him if I’m essential?

Did I give up my life for nothing? Should I have studied to be a doctor or something instead?

And I ask the same of my prayer friends. Are they essential? Is prayer essential?

Fortunately I know all too well the answer. Prayer is essential and desperately needed and yet our world is desperately blind to this reality.

God has been amputated from our media, our politicians and so called ‘leaders’ and as they frantically try to fix the world without His help it can only end in disaster!

And so as I sum up on this dull Sunday my prayers go to all our priests and religious who like Jesus are so often ignored, discounted and rejected by the powers of this world while in God’s eyes they are doing far more ‘essential’ work.

Let us pray for them when we too feel ignored and discouraged and let our lives be a constant reminder that prayer is essential and there is a far greater virus out there capable of causing eternal damage and it’s called ‘sin’ and we all have it.

May our world leaders come to fear the consequences of offending God as they have of the virus and may they be as diligent and zealous in containing it, preventing it and eradicating it.

St. Padre Pio, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen