THE SERVANT GENERAL
PERSPECTIVE ON COVID-19
grievous your sins:
…. turning away the needy at the gate.”
the peace of God that surpasses all understanding guard your
hearts and minds in Christ Jesus (Phil 4:7).
continues to spread and has been declared a pandemic. Currently
there have been 156,099 infections and 5,819 deaths worldwide.
Governments continue to lock down nations (or parts of nations)
and bishops continue to lock down churches (or just cancel
should we as the people of God fight COVID-19? I offer five
P’s to fight the two P’s (pandemic and panic).
is PRAYER. COVID-19 is not just a medical
or biological challenge, but is a spiritual challenge. If
it is chastisement from God, then we need to resort to spiritual
responses. We look to God’s intervention even more than
a vaccine. We need to pray, and pray intensely. We need to
humble ourselves before God and acknowledge our helplessness.
“He humbled their hearts through hardship; they stumbled
with no one to help.” (Ps 107:12). But God is there
to help. We need to turn to Him and beg for His mercy. “In
their distress they cried to the Lord, who saved them in their
peril.” (Ps 107:13).
is PENANCE. We need to repent of our sin.
We need to avail of the Sacrament of Reconciliation. We need
to understand that our sins cause us to be afflicted. “I
have begun to strike you with devastation because of your
sins.” (Mi 6:13). COVID-19 is one way by which God can
bring us back to Himself. If so, this terrible scourge can
become a mysterious blessing.
is PROCLAMATION. Not only we need to repent,
but even more so, the many Catholics who have been remiss
in their faith life. They need to be renewed and transformed
in Christ. How will that happen? It happens as we continue
with our work of evangelization, proclaiming salvation in
Jesus. They need to meet Christ in order to live Christ. For
them to meet Christ, we need to share Christ. This work is
urgent, not to be stopped by such challenges as COVID-19,
as people are dying daily in their sins.
is PROCESSION. I would like to look to what
Bp Joseph Strickland of Tyler, Texas, USA, has done. He and
the people of God do processions with the Blessed Sacrament
around the church, with appropriate prayers. This was also
done by Pope St Gregory the Great during the plague in the
Roman Empire in the sixth century. Let us not cower while
the devil delights in the closing of churches and cancellation
of Masses. Let the people of God go on the offensive. You
can suggest such a procession to your priests and bishops.
is PRUDENCE. We remain prudent in our actions
and mindful of the real dangers of COVID-19. We take the necessary
precautions, as long as these are not to the extreme, such
as to be prejudicial to the outward and visible practice of
our faith. We should not be overreacting even more than secular
authorities are. They have not closed malls, stores, restaurants,
offices and public transport, so why will we close churches?
Has our cancelling Masses even actually contributed to the
COVID-19, we are taking many precautions, and preparing ourselves
to face the threat or what is to come, mindful of our physical
well-being. But how mindful are God’s people about their
spiritual health? We wash our hands as a precaution, but “even
if you scour it with lye, and use much soap, the stain of
your guilt is still before me, oracle of the Lord God.”
(Jer 2:22). How prepared are people for the inevitable coming
of our Lord? COVID-19 may bring death, which is only the gateway
to eternal life, but serious sin brings death for all eternity.
are fearing so much COVID-19, and in their fear, draw back
from the Church and the sacraments. What we need to do is
the opposite. We need to come together for the Eucharist.
We need to look to God for healing. We need to fear God alone.
We need to repent of sin. “Your own wickedness chastises
you, your own infidelities punish you. Know then, and see,
how evil and bitter is your forsaking the Lord, your God,
and your showing no fear of me, oracle of the Lord, the God
of hosts.” (Jer 2:19).
put COVID-19 in the right perspective, in the perspective
of God’s words. Then act according not to the wisdom
of the world but to the inscrutable wisdom of God. For the
holy warriors of MFC, carry on with our life and mission.
Attend your meetings. Do your services. Keep focused on Christ.
then my people, upon whom my name has been pronounced,
humble themselves and pray,
and seek my face and turn from their evil ways,
I will hear them from heaven
and pardon their sins and heal their land.”
(2 Chr 7:14-15)
bless and protect you all.
put this in perspective, here are the number of people worldwide
who die on average in a single day: cancer 26,383, coronary
heart disease 24,641, diabetes 4,300, mosquitoes 1,900, homicides
1,300, snakes 378.