Along with the severity of summer’s heat in this month, the threat of the coronavirus (COVID – 19) infection world over has begun to chock human life and activity. By now over 100 countries have been affected with the spread of this virus so much so the WHO has declared it to be pandemic. Economy is falling, business is closing, travel movement is restricted and all attention now is to combat this dreaded killer disease which is advancing unabated. It is indeed a matter of great concern and worry because it has no boundaries, no limitations and nothing can stop it since there is neither medicine nor an antidote. To researches in medicine and virological studies, this virus has become a greatest challenge and countries have been setting aside billions of dollars to funding research but unfortunately there are more questions than a comfortable answer. We all need to be worried and concerned as we can apparently do nothing else other than to fall in line with guidelines issued from by competent authorities from time to time and take necessary and adequate measures to prevent its contagion, advancement and onslaught.
Yes, we as ordinary citizens of the world can do nothing about it humanly speaking but we all can, as believers storm heaven for God’s mercy, protection and even forgiveness because nothing is impossible for Him. True, churches are being closed, spiritual celebrations of any kind are being banned so that gathering of people is avoided but our hearts are open and so also our minds and disposition. These are testing times, days and months and God knows what is better for us all. Let us activate our faith in the Living God, purify our hearts now that we are in the Lenten season with prayer, fasting and penance and unite ourselves with all those who have been and are victims of the coronavirus world over surrendering ourselves to the mercy of God united in prayer, petition and true worship. God will bless us and of course will surely show the researchers a way. “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your god. I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” (Isaiah 41:10). So, let us pray, let us keep our hearts open and invoke His Holy Name incessantly and always. May God bless and protect us: all nations and all people of the whole World.
XGerald Isaac Lobo
Bishop of Udupi