Christ Like Figures of Health Care Workers

I had a painful conversation with a health care worker.

Her eyes communicated physical and emotional weariness.

Working non-stop, without vacation since the start of the Corona Virus pandemic.

Struggling to balance work, family, church, and personal responsibilities.

Her daily clothing is the feeling of being overwhelmed.

Underneath her clothing is a painful moral/spiritual dilemma – Caring for unvaccinated, anti-vax, and vaccine hesitant patients, most of whom occupy the beds for which she has responsibility.

Staring at a particular helpless and vulnerable patient, her mind entertains questions: “Why must I care for someone who not only refuses the vaccine but also condemns persons who take the vaccine, in support of conspiracy theories?” “Why must I sacrifice my family and myself for this person?”  “My child’s intellectual and emotional development . . . because of my time spent caring for this uncaring person?” “I wish I had the moral guts to walk away and leave this person to their demise. But my heart doesn’t permit me to do it. I stand frozen gazing at a sick patient and tears well up in my eyes.”

The available options of COVID-19 health care workers were the options available to the Risen Jesus in relation to his unfaithful disciples. They abandoned him at the greatest times of emotional and spiritual needs – suffering and death. Yet, at the resurrection, he encountered them in compassion and mercy.

Today, our COVID-19 health care workers are the Christ figures among us. Many teach us what James Keenan defines as mercy, that is, “entering the chaos of another” despite their being unworthy and undeserving of it. 

The gate that gives entry into these riches of his [“The gate that gives entry into these riches of his [Christ’s] wisdom is the cross; because it is a narrow gate, while many seek the joys that can be gained through it, it is given to few to desire to pass through it.” (St. John of the Cross)

One thought on “Christ Like Figures of Health Care Workers

  1. Fr. Don this example was spot on. I never thought of it that way. Thank you for sharing. Life is filled with Jesus moments.


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