THE SERVANT GENERAL
A PERSPECTIVE ON COVID-19
“if you do not repent, you will all perish”
“To all the beloved of God in (the world), called to
be holy. Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the
Lord Jesus Christ.” (Rom 1:7).
I continue to be dismayed. Yes, by the continuing surge of
COVID-19. But more so, by the response of many in our Church.
Our bishops are cancelling spiritual events including Masses.Churches
are being locked down. Reasons given are the same reasons
of secular authorities. But aside from calling on the faithful
to pray, our Church leaders are not delving more deeply into
the spiritual dimensions of this plague. Is not God trying
to tell us something?
What is really going on?
Given that much of the Christian world have gone the way of
secularism, given that there is growing apostasy and Christians
have turned away from God, given the disintegration of faith,
family and life, given that modernism has even entered into
our Church, might COVID-19 be part of God’s chastisement?
Mind you, given the gravity of the sins of the world, it is
still just a relatively minor manifestation of God’s
wrath. Perhaps just a reminder. And if the world does not
heed the warning, the worst is yet to come.
The Bible says a lot abot God’s wrath and plagues.
From the book of Revelation. The seven angels are told
to “go and pour out the seven bowls of God’s
fury upon the earth.” (Rev 16:1).
From the book of Ezekiel. The oracle of God speaks of
sending “plague into this land, pouring out upon
it my bloody wrath” (Ez 14:19a).
From the book of Psalms. The psalmist speaks about Israel’s
rebellion against God, for which God “let loose
against them the heat of his anger, wrath, fury, ….
He cleared a path for his anger; he did not spare them
from death, but delivered their animals to the plague.”
What greatly angers God? It is the infidelity of His people.
It is their rebellion. It is their idolatry. The consequences
are dire. “Thus says the Lord God: Clap your hands,
stamp your feet, and cry ‘Alas!’ for all the
evil abominations of the house of Israel! They shall fall
by the sword, starvation, and disease.” (Ez 6:11).
What needs to happen?
The people of God need to repent! And turn back to God! “Repent,
therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be wiped away,
and that the Lord may grant you times of refreshment”
(Acts 3:19-20a). The justice of God requires punishment for
sin, but the mercy of God looks to restoration. “For
I find no pleasure in the death of anyone who diesoracle
of the Lord God. Turn back and live!” (Ez 18:32).
What is the real tragedy? It is not the physical deaths that
are caused by COVID-19. It is the spiritual death that is
caused by sin and a continuing lack of repentance. But are
we hearing our Church leaders call us to repentance, or just
to do precautions for our physical health? Ironically, it
is the time of Lent. God is grieved, by our sins certainly,
but also by our failure to heed what He is telling us. “I
sent upon you pestilence …. yet you did not return to
me” (Am 4:10).
Know this: God has “power over these plagues”
(Rev 16:9b). God can stop COVID-19 much better than a vaccine.
The real tragedy would be if we “did not repent or give
him glory.” (Rev 16:9c).
This Lenten season
Our Church has locked down churches and cancelled Masses.
That is not the way to go. All the more we as the people of
God need to come together, in repentance and in worship of
God. The best worship is of course the Holy Eucharist. It
is a commemoration of the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross
for our sins. On the cross Jesus shed his precious blood for
us, and won for us our salvation.
Remember Passover? The Israelites were told to smear the blood
of the slaughtered lamb on the doorposts and lintel of their
houses. “But for you the blood will mark the houses
where you are. Seeing the blood, I will pass over you; thereby,
when I strike the land of Egypt, no destructive blow will
come upon you.” (Ex 12:13).
Where can we be marked by the blood of the Lamb, who is Jesus?
At the holy sacrifice of the Mass! May our bishops quickly
restore our Eucharistic celebrations. It is a matter of life
In the end
We are in the end times. In the end, “there will be
powerful earthquakes, famines, and plagues from place to place”
(Lk 21:11a). You think this COVID-19 is fearsome? You haven’t
seen anything yet. This is just a reminder, a small tap on
We must learn the lessons being imparted by God through COVID-19,
and respond accordingly. We respond with more intense prayer,
with ongoing heartfelt repentance, and with continuing with
our work of evangelization and mission. The times are urgent.
The work is crucial. People are dying, not just with COVID-19,
but in their sins.
God bless and protect you all.
In very few places in the world, such as in northern Italy,
this might be justified.
God’s four evil punishments are the sword, famine,
wild beasts and plague (Ez 14:21). In the book of Revelation,
when the fourth seal was broken open, Death and Hades “were
given authority over a quarter of the earth, to kill with
sword, famine, and plague, and by means of the beasts of the
earth.” (Rev 6:8).
 The gestures of clapping hands and stamping feet express
grief, even horror.
 Christians are the new Israel. God’s covenant is
with us. God continues with the appropriate rewards and punishments.
 Of course God can also direct human minds to be able to
develop a vaccine.
 Perhaps the COVID-19 virus will pass over us if we are
sealed by the blood of Jesus through the Eucharist.