COVID-19: Have you still no faith?
“Cum Petro per Mariam ad Jesum”– this was always the path taken to God by Christians of all times. It is no less so during this time of the coronavirus.
by ACN International
Adapted by Amanda Griffin, ACN Canada
Published online May 28, 2020
The virus has shaken the world. Like a sudden storm, it has upended all our certainties. The situation is like that of the disciples in the boat, when Jesus asked them, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?” (Mk. 4:40).
The gestures of loving concern on the part of all those we have been helping for many years in their necessities and in their service for God are a living response. For example, the Sisters of Saint Charles Borromeo in the Philippines going out with food packages for the poorest families living in quarantine behind their walls. Or the “Small Christian Communities” (SCCs) in India who are going out, along with their bishops and deacons, giving water, protective masks and disinfectant handwash to the needy in the streets. Or Sister Magdalena in Kiev, who is visiting the sick and elderly, responding with concrete acts of love. And Bishop Désinord Jean in Haiti, calling the faithful to prayer with his church bell to plead for an end to the pandemic.
So many shining examples of loving charity! In Haiti, the people themselves have nothing; over half now live below the poverty threshold and four out of five Haitians are unemployed. Public life has come to a standstill. An outbreak of the epidemic here would plunge this, the poorest country of the Western hemisphere, into an abyss of suffering. The situation is little better for the poor in India. Sister Christin Joseph, who heads the SCCs, is organizing the response to the Coronavirus crisis and the Indian government lock-down. “We have introduced a special family prayer initiative.
Every evening at seven, the families gather in their own homes and pray the Rosary in solidarity with the coronavirus victims all over the world,” she says. She knows that most of these Christians are day labourers without any social security, and the lock-down has taken what little they had. Many are looking anxiously to the future. But their faith is still alive.
The same response of faith has been seen in the many priests, all over the world, who have fulfilled their priestly ministry to the victims of COVID–19, even to the point of death. They believed. The disciples in the boat cried out in fear, “We are perishing,” for their faith was weak. But after Easter, they strengthened one another. Peter and Our Lady were the visible pillars of the young Church – and they continue to be so today.
The invisible pillars are those who bear loving witness to their faith in this crisis, our brothers and sisters.