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FROM THE SERVANT GENERAL
 

FROM THE SERVANT GENERAL

A PERSPECTIVE ON COVID-19
(Part 10)

GOD’S WISDOM


March 27, 2020


As the scourge of COVID-19 goes on, the world’s so-called experts, pundits and kibitzers have their own respective solutions, with opinions and suggestions often contradictory to one another. But as this scourge is chastisement from God, then we need God’s wisdom on how to overcome it.

What is the wisdom of God? Well, it is often diametrically opposed to the wisdom of man. Consider an incident in the life of Jesus, when he was being arrested prior to his passion. Peter drew his sword and struck the high priest’s servant. Jesus said to him, “Put your sword back into its sheath, for all who take the sword will perish by the sword.” (Mt 26:52).

I suppose Peter thought it was perfectly right for him to do what he did. He was defending his Master. He faced a foe armed with swords and clubs. They were forcibly arresting Jesus. He needed to fight force with force. From man’s point of view, he did right. For Jesus, who rebuked him, it was not right. It was man’s wisdom versus God’s wisdom.

Punishment for sin

But God’s wisdom, mysterious and inscrutable, always bring valuable lessons, if only we can see them. What is God’s lesson here? It is this: one who uses the sword will die by the sword. To understand this and to see God’s wisdom, we look at, naturally, the book of Wisdom. Here is a divine principle: “one is punished by the very things through which one sins.” (Wis 11:16).

Consider what happened to Egypt, which oppressed God’s people. “In return for their senseless, wicked thoughts, which misled them into worshiping dumb serpents and worthless insects, you sent upon them swarms of dumb creatures for vengeance” (Wis 11:15). Talk about poetic justice!

Consider what has happened in the world throughout history and in the present.

Nations look to power and territory, and use arms to get their way. They inflict death and destruction on innocent peoples to do so. They sin. So we have had devastating world wars. They destroy by war; they are destroyed by war. People take up the sword; they perish by the sword.

The modern world has been obsessed by sex, resulting in the Sexual Revolution. This has resulted in sexual licentiousness, immorality, pornography, child molestation, even depravity, such as bestiality and transgenderism. They sin. So we have the scourges of diseases such as STDs and HIV/AIDS, and disorders such as gender dysphoria.Peopletrivialize sex; they are afflicted with sexual diseases.

The materialistic world looks to secular pleasures, whether in food, clothing, entertainment, gadgets, etc. There is growing secular humanism and hedonism. It is the cult of self, with people selfishly looking to what they can get from life. They sin. So now, with COVID-19, we have societal and economic lockdown, and the liberals and humanists have suddenly lost what gives them value and self-esteem. People idolize worldly pleasures; these pleasures are withheld from them.

The Church is not spared. There is growing apostasy. Christians have turned away from God. Catholics no longer go to church and partake of the Holy Eucharist. Many, including clerics, have lost supernatural faith. They sin. So now, with COVID-19, bishops have closed the churches and have cancelled Masses, sacramental services and liturgical activities.Peopleneglected spirituality; they are deprived of spiritual things.

One is punished by the very things through which one sins.

If such evil in the world continues, then it is ultimate destruction that we face. Unfortunately, even with some good people in the world, that seems to be where the world is going. We are rushing to the end, which Jesus describes as a time of terror. This is not what God would have wanted, but as the world has chosen to veer away from Him and embrace sin, we will be punished by that through which we sin. We have embraced the world; the world will be destroyed right before our eyes.

Jesus already anticipated the end. Poignantly he said, “But when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?” (Lk 18:8b).

Call to repentance

So what are we to do? What is God telling us by chastising the whole world through COVID-19?We need to turn back to God. We need to repent of sin. We need to amend our lives.

While a vaccine can help stop COVID-19, something else will eventually take its place to scourge the world. We need something else, which only God can give. Remember:

  • God is all powerful. “For great strength is always present with you; who can resist the might of your arm?” (Wis 11:21). God can stop COVID-19 in an instant if we wills to.
  • God is merciful. “But you have mercy on all” (Wis 11:23a).
  • God wants us to repent and turn back to Him, and when we do, will forgive us. “And you overlook sins for the sake of repentance.” (Wis 11:23b).
  • God loves us and we belong to Him. “But you spare all things, because they are yours, O Ruler and Lover of souls, for your imperishable spirit is in all things!” (Wis 11:26-12:1).

Therefore God is using COVID-19 to chastise us. But this chastisement is not yet that severe. “Therefore you rebuke offenders little by little, warn them, and remind them of the sins they are committing” (Wis 12:2a). And what is God’s purpose? “That they may abandon their wickedness and believe in you, Lord!” (Wis 12:2b).

Shall we wait until COVID-19 turns into an unmitigated disaster? Repent now.

Our MFC mission

COVID-19 is nothing compared to the plagues of old. And it is nothing compared to the terrors when the end finally comes. But God’s justice can only be mitigated by His mercy if we repent and turn back to Him.

This then is our work in MFC. Through our evangelization and mission, we help bring Catholics back to Jesus, through repentance and transformation of life. This is crucial work, not only to help bring an end to COVID-19, but also to help establish more faith before the Son of Man finally comes.

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