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  • Writer's pictureThe Hermit of Antipolo

Raging Against God (A Perspective on Covid - 19 Part 18)

Today’s readings:

Acts 4:23-31

Psalm 2:1-9

John 3:1-8

Practically everyone at that time was against Jesus. “Indeed they gathered in this city against your holy servant Jesus whom you anointed, Herod and Pontius Pilate, together with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel” (Acts 4:27). Opposing camps came together. The secular Jewish authorities and their overlords the Romans. The pagans and the chosen people of God. The Pharisees and the Sadducees. All had one focus, to get rid of Jesus.

But “why did the Gentiles rage and the peoples entertain folly?” (Acts 4:25b). Why do “kings on earth rise up and princes plot together against the Lord and against his anointed one” (Ps 2:2)? Well, they say it themselves. “Let us break their shackles and cast off their chains from us!” (Ps 2:3). Many people, then and today, do not want to be servants/slaves of Jesus and want to put off the yoke of Christ. They do not want to be dictated on as to what is right and proper to do, with the Ten Commandments and others laws of God. They want to be free to do what they want to do. And so they rise against God. In doing so, they entertain and embrace folly.

This is the folly of today. Almost everyone, including those in our Church including some clerics, are either raging against God or just entertaining folly.

* Embracing hedonism and immorality rather than righteousness and holiness.

* Assaulting the design of God by having countless genders rather than two sexes, tearing apart by divorce what God has made one, aborting millions of the unborn rather than multiplying, trying to make men women and women men through surgical intervention, neglecting the poor rather than giving them a preferential option, abusing the environment rather than taking care of the earth.

* Focusing on man with Modernism rather than on God.

* Waging wars rather than living the peace of Christ.

Which brings us to COVID-19. There are those who say God is love (indeed He is) and can never be angry or punish His people. But if God is love, then He must punish His people if they persist in sin. This is a manifestation of His love. It is discipline for His children, to bring them back from the errors of their ways. “Then he speaks to them in his anger, in his wrath he terrifies them” (Ps 2:5). Would God just go along His merry way, saying “children will be children,” and not do anything to chastise and discipline them? Now that would be a failure in love and mercy.

COVID-19 is God’s chastisement. It is His punishment upon an evil generation. It is intended to catch the world’s attention, and for them to learn the lesson He is imparting. Are we terrified yet? Are we learning our lesson? When we see a microscopic pathogen totally devastating our lives, are we not led to turn to God? Even just in desperation? What are we to do?

First and foremost, we pray intensely. We implore God to “stretch forth your hand to heal” (Acts 4:30a). We ask the Father in the powerful name of Jesus, so that “signs and wonders are done through the name of your holy servant Jesus.” (Acts 4:30b).

But also, the authentic people of God need to speak out, to help instruct people as to what is happening, and as to what needs to be their right responses. We ask God to “enable your servants to speak your word with all boldness” (Acts 4:29b). Unfortunately, good Christians have been intimidated by the enemy so they just remain silent, or have been disarmed by political correctness preached by liberals in the Church. Many bishops do not take the opportunity to preach and teach the flock about God’s call and the consequences of not heeding that call. Have we been hearing the call to repentance? Much of what is being heard are secular voices, most of which are the very voices that got the world into this mess in the first place.

Further, there is a need for renewal and revival in the Church, so that her members can be light and leaven in the world. For this, Catholics need to “be born from above.” (Jn 3:7b). Jesus has said, “Amen, amen, I say to you, no one can see the kingdom of God without being born from above.” (Jn 3:3). And this means “being born of water and Spirit.” (Jn 3:5b). This is about the sacrament of Baptism, yes. But why is it that Catholics already baptized and confirmed are among the vilest violators of God’s commands? It is because they have allowed the fallen flesh rather than the Spirit to dominate them. The Spirit and the flesh are totally opposed. “What is born of flesh is flesh and what is born of spirit is spirit.” (Jn 3:6).

So such lapsed Catholics need to experience a renewed infilling of the Holy Spirit. This is the adult experience of baptism in the Spirit. They need to be “born again” again. They need to be renewed in the Spirit. This happens basically through a program for renewal such as our CLS in MFC or LCS in LCSC.

COVID-19 will pass if and when we learn our lesson. Then God will give people in the world the opportunity to amend their ways. But unless what ultimately follows will be renewal, then another scourge, possibly even more deadly, will occur.

Let us in MFC pray for a renewed infilling of the Spirit upon ourselves and upon our Church. And let us eagerly look to the time when we can go about our work of evangelization with boldness, as God’s holy warriors. “As they prayed, the place where they were gathered shook, and they were all filled with the holy Spirit, and continued to speak the word of God with boldness.” (Acts 4:31).


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