The Philippines recently celebrated the 500th anniversary of the arrival of Christianity in the country this year. Almost at the same time, the country experienced a sharp increase in infections and deaths due to relaxed policies and complacency.
Catholics worldwide are currently observing the Holy Week, a yearly practice to commemorate and honor the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The faith of the Catholic and Christian flock is being put to an extreme test today as the transmission of the deadly COVID-19 virus continues to affect the lives of many. COVID-19 has infected over 125 million individuals and claimed the lives of more than 2.7 million people.
The Philippines recently celebrated the 500th anniversary of the arrival of Christianity in the country this year. Almost at the same time, the country experienced a sharp increase in infections and deaths due to relaxed policies and complacency. Restrictions have been heightened and non-essential travels have been suspended by government to control the spread of the virus.
Holy Week couldn't have come at a better for those who want a respite from the struggles of everyday living with COVID-19 around. For those working in offices who're at most risk of contracting the virus, it is an opportunity to clear those fears and be with our loved ones whom we've kept a social distance from for their protection. For those working in hospitals and medical facilities, the pause from work may also hopefully mean a pause from the increasing COVID-19 patients as people will mostly be at home and are prohibited from staying out for non-essential reasons.
More than the temporary pause brought about by the observance of Holy Week, it is a perfect opportunity for all of us Catholics and Christians to reflect on what we have done centuries after the sacrifice of Christ on the cross. Have we become responsible stewards of the world that He saved? While non-believers may argue the salvation story, it is without a doubt that Jesus Christ played an instrumental role in worldwide faith. While Christ the figure remains influential, does His teachings still resonate with us?
During this pandemic, how many of us offered genuine prayers for the sick? How many of us attended online mass to show our continuing faith and confidence in God? How many of us have tried to be Christ-like in our words and actions?
I don't intend to be preachy and self-righteous but what we have become because of this pandemic strikes me. Instead of seeking God, most of us seek blame on others. Instead of saying prayers, we say our curses out loud and frustrations as if we want to kill those whom we criticize.
I hope we all do take time to listen to God in this very special time, and the message he wants to convey to us. Our world is changing so fast that we get caught up emotionally. Spiritually, though, are we still connected to God given all these changes?
Hopefully, the Lord continues to see us worthy of His mercy and compassion especially in this time of our great need.
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