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  • Writer's pictureThe Hermit of Antipolo

Not Foolish But Wise (A Perspective on Covid - 19 Part 15)

The biggest number of COVID-19 infections and deaths is now the USA. And in the USA, the biggest numbers are in New York. Governor Andrew Cuomo, an avowed Catholic, says that whatever progress there is in New York against COVID-19 has nothing to do with God, but is simply due to man’s efforts and behavior. And liberals of course do not look to God for help.

Then we see those who lead our Catholic Church, who closed down churches even before the state instituted lockdowns, who say COVID-19 has nothing to do with God’s chastisement but is just a temper tantrum of nature, who are, admittedly, doing wide work of helping provide for the poor but speak only of social distancing and the like but not of spiritual matters and needed spiritual responses.

What is God to do? God does want to heal the land and liberate people from disease and afflictions. But many do not cry out to Him for help. Many would not acknowledge Him if He did help. And even in the Church, His lessons are being missed and His people not being brought to repentance and closer to Him. Is the world dooming itself to further chastisement?

Let us look at one passage in the Bible that can provide us guidance. “Watch carefully then how you live, not as foolish persons but as wise, making the most of the opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore, do not continue in ignorance, but try to understand what is the will of the Lord.” (Eph 5:15-16).

First, the days are evil. Oh, these days are very evil. The world is in deep darkness of sin. We are seeing the explosion of sins that cry out to heaven for vengeance, such as abortion, homosexual depravity, and social injustice. The massive assaults against faith, family and life continue. People have turned away from God and have even turned against God.

* Churches are closed and limited gatherings for services (even with proper social distancing) are prohibited, while liquor stores and abortion clinics remain open.

* Church involvement has been deemed non-essential, while abortion is deemed essential healthcare.

* Christians who go to drive-in church services (in open areas and with social distancing) are fined, arrested or threatened with arrest, while prisoners are released, some of them violent criminals.

Second, we are to live our lives not foolishly but wisely, not in ignorance but in understanding the will of God. What constitutes wisdom in understanding God’s will?

* God is all-powerful and we are but weak human flesh. On our own we can do nothing. Except make a mess of things.

* God is in control, not us. Just when people thought they were now like gods, able to accomplish anything, God takes it all away, in an instant, by means of an invisible microbe.

* God loves us. But His love includes both justice and mercy. If we stray away, God will discipline us out of love, to bring us back. COVID-19 is God’s chastisement, designed for our good.

* God only wants what is best for us, giving us a future full of hope. But this depends on our keeping our part of the covenant with God. For a people or nation that remains faithful, there will be health, prosperity and long life.

Third, we are to make the most of the present opportunity. Most of the world is on lockdown. Catholics do not even have access to the sacraments. But as God has allowed this, then we look to the opportunities.

* More time for prayer and the Bible.

* More time with family, including family prayer.

* More time for study. “Do not continue in ignorance.”

- Read as much of the Bible as you can. If you have not yet read the whole Bible, here now is your opportunity.

- Review our MFC formation courses.

- Go to reliable Internet sites for formation in our Catholic faith, whether this is catechism, pro-life advocacy, or other aspects of our faith.

- Read my books.

- Ponder well the “From the SG” posts, particularly the series on COVID-19.

* Creative use of social media for evangelization and formation online.

- Have your MFC meetings online.

- Participate in and conduct formation courses.

- Conduct CLS/LCS.

- Participate in LBS groups.

- Avail of what MFC and LCSC offer. Videos. Testimonies. Even online counseling and online medical consultation.

* Help our needy brethren. MFC/LCSC/NONe is engaged in helping our needy brethren in their daily necessities, especially food. We have our teams doing this. For most everyone else, as the lockdown limits your involvement, please provide the funds needed. Let those who have help those who have not. This should happen even across areas and countries.

So the COVID-19 lockdown is not just to give you an extended rest or a vacation, but is used by God to form you and draw you even closer to Him. So watch carefully how you spend this time, not as foolish persons but as wise.

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