God's Word and Daily Life
What if coronavirus will help us understand better the dignity of human work? by Fr. Bernard Holzer, aa
Photo credit: Fr. Treb Futol of the Diocese of Sorsogon
With all these chaotic situations around, faith in the Lord suffices. “Nothing will I hold back from you, Lord,” prays a trusting Christian.
Covid-19 holds the world in pandemic. Every nation declares a lockdown to contain the virus from its transmission. Authorities and media men say that anybody can become a suspect or even a victim and dies, and that a family member or two, even the entire barangay can be put in total quarantine anytime.
This condition causes FEAR and HOPLESSNESS to creep in the neighborhood. With trembling voices, questions are asked: Who is infected? We are poor, what will happen to us? Will the government help?
When times are hard, we Filipinos turn to God and embrace the altar in prayers. A believer writes, “When life goes downhill, lift everything to God and He’ll send you His angels.” Truly, God’s MERCIFUL LOVE showers and covers the offerors.
It takes away their anxieties, fears and troubles. During Eucharistic celebrations and other rites for example, individual and communal prayers are recited to offer petitions for healing, protection and strength. Live streaming finds its way in this pandemic era.
As a country, let us PRAY as ONE and HOPE that we rise above the routine – our day-to-day existence.
Together, let us PUT Covid-19 out of Philippine shore and beyond other shores! And we know that small or big petitions offered, the Lord always listens.
We can still commemorate Jesus' passion, death and resurrection in our sacred space in our homes.
Let us follow some tips by Fr. Bernard Holzer, AA, as to how we can celebrate fully the Holy Week during this time of pandemic.
As you know, the bishops of Metro Manila have decided to remove all public celebrations until April 14, including Holy Week. It's really a hard decision to make and follow... especially here in the Philippines. But it's about everyone's health! It's a new way to live our Lent.
May I suggest other ways, creatively repeating the three traditional pillars of our Lent: fasting, prayer and sharing.
The fasting of encounters (sometimes worldly) is imposed on us.
Let it become an opportunity to be fully in family and community: by meeting us more, by taking the time to listen to us, to tell stories, to flip through a photo album, to watch videos, to play together... to read too.
Let's take care of our diet, especially vitamins, another way to fight the virus...
As of readings, I recommend Pope Francis' encyclical "Laudato Si" and his Exhortation after the Synod "The Beloved Amazon": these two letters will help us to understand the stakes of this epidemic and to consider some necessary changes so that our country remains a beautiful and hospitable home for all.
Let us pray for the people affected by the virus, for their families, for nurses, doctors at the outposts, researchers, rulers civil servants... for our families.
On Sunday, with the family, let's participate in an online Eucharist in an appropriate space, with flowers, candles, a Bible...
Why not read the Gospel every day, with the comment of Pope Francis that he gives every morning in the House of St. Martha in the Vatican (see: email@example.com www.vatican.va).
Why not participate in an online retreat?
Let us not be afraid of our frailties and vulnerability: our Lord takes them upon him and makes them a path of growth and resurrection!
As we know, the poorest will suffer the most from this epidemic.
So continue to support your associations, listen to your neighbors and employees: they are probably in very difficult situations. Let's be ready to help.
Good Lent, therefore, in solidarity by supporting and encouraging each other, by remaining in touch.
Please follow the government's instructions and actions: it is a way of loving our neighbor as ourselves.
Thank you for sharing your experiences with us. Take care!
Our Assumptionist communities are praying for you.
Fr. Bernard Holzer a. a.