Fr. Thomas G. Weinandy: The Pandemic and Repentance

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*Image: The Brazen Serpent by Anthony van Dyck, c. 1619 [Museo del Prado, Madrid]. This dramatic scene (from Numbers 21) depicts the moment when Moses saves his people from the snakes sent by God as punishment for their lack of faith.

By Fr. Thomas G. Weinandy, OFM, Cap., The Catholic Thing, April 9, 2020

Thomas G. Weinandy, OFM, a prolific writer and one of the most prominent living theologians, serves as a member of the Vatican’s International Theological Commission. His newest book is Jesus Becoming Jesus: A Theological Interpretation of the Synoptic Gospels.

Fr. Thomas G. Weinandy, OFM, Cap.
Throughout the Old Testament, when evil befell the Israelites, they consistently interpreted their sorry plight as God’s righteous punishment for their sins.  Three examples readily come to mind.

First, when the chief prince, Haman, convinced the Persian king, Ahasuerus, to destroy the Jews, Queen Esther – who was Jewish – besought the Lord to deliver her exiled people from the evil that had come upon them.  In fasting, Esther prayed:

O my Lord, you only are our King; help me, who am alone and have no helper but you, for my danger is at hand. . . .You, O Lord, did take Israel out of all the nations. . .for an everlasting inheritance. . . .And now we have sinned before you, and you have given us into the hands of our enemies, because we glorified their gods.  You are righteous, O Lord! . . .Remember, O Lord; make yourself known in this time of affliction and give me courage. (Esther 14:3-7)  ….

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