March 23: The best and the worst is revealed

My meditation today was on the pitiless injustice which Roman soldiers heaped upon Jesus prior to his execution. Jesus was mocked, flogged, spat upon, stripped, crowned with thorns and struck on the head with a reed. Jesus was an innocent victim in a bloodthirsty time.

Are we any better today? The means of persecution may not be so violent – although in some cases they are – but innocent victims abound.

The pandemic has revealed something we always knew – in difficult times the best and the worst of humanity is revealed. We have all heard about the hoarders, those people buying up vast quantities of important supplies ranging from toilet paper to flour, leaving the less aggressive with nothing for their larders. The innocent ones have not, so far, received as cruel a fate as Jesus did. But Jesus is on their side, although the self-centred hoarders could care less about that.

safe_imageDespite the nastiness, I found some events in which to rejoice. A friend emailed me about the Blackfalds, Alta., IGA which is determined that all their customers get the opportunity to buy what they need. On Saturday, my friend’s wife witnessed a store clerk stopping a customer with three loaves of bread and asking him to return one to the shelf.

The photo at the right was taken at a supermarket in Denmark which wants every person to have an opportunity to buy a bottle of hand sanitizer.

As I go on my daily walk, the number of people doing the same with their dogs, their families or by themselves is heartening. As is the friendliness and courtesy of the people. I am pleased when I go on Facebook to see the sharing and humour of my FB friends. Instead of being an ideological battleground, social media is becoming what it was meant to be – an online community.

Times are likely to get tougher before they get better. My firm belief is that the vast majority of people are courteous and respectful. We will have to draw from that well of courtesy and respect in the months ahead. I pray that we have the courage to do so.

-Glen Argan

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