THE SERVANT GENERAL
A PERSPECTIVE ON COVID-19
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.
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.”
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).
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!
what has happened in the world throughout history and in the
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.
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.
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.
already anticipated the end. Poignantly he said, “But
when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”
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.
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:
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
God is merciful. “But you have mercy on all”
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!”
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).
we wait until COVID-19 turns into an unmitigated disaster?
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.
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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