For the Common Good

May 28, 2020

Today’s reflection is brought by Fr. Michael Schleupner. We’re so grateful for all of his shared wisdom through our blog! Let’s take a few moments to read his thoughts about something many of us are missing and something we’ve had to add to our daily lives.

For the Common Good
Closed churches and masks – my focus for today!

The governors of Maryland and of many states have significantly limited the number of people allowed at worship services during this pandemic. I think some governors ordered that churches be closed. Our own Archbishop responded positively to the Governor’s order.
In fact, after careful examination of all factors, he completely closed our churches during most of the past two months. Some other bishops did the same.

We need to look at both the Governor’s and the Archbishop’s decisions – difficult decisions for them – as caring for the common good. And that is a core part of our Catholic – and Christian – social teaching. In other words, care for the common good is part of our moral code.

In this very extraordinary and dangerous moment, allowing the care for the common good of all in society to impose restrictions on our freedom to worship and maybe some other freedoms seems morally justified, if not required.

The same moral principle applies to the wearing of masks or some kind of facial covering. We do not know when and if we are infected with the coronavirus unless we have been tested. Wearing a mask shows respect for others. It helps to assure that an as yet asymptomatic virus germ in me will not be communicated to others. It is an act of caring for the common good of society. Living that principle is a way of honoring God at this moment.

It doesn’t take the place of prayer – and I hope we have all been praying personally on our own through this time. But wearing the mask does express our care for others, maybe especially the least among us about whom Jesus says: “Whatever you do for the least of my brothers and sisters, that you do for me.”

May the peace and hope of the risen Christ be with us! Amen.
~ Father Michael Schleupner

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