After COVID-19: Life will spring from death!
Since December 2019, a virus that originated in China has caused a global catastrophe!
Indeed, on February 11, 2020, the WHO officially named the disease "coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)": global panic, suffering, death... what's going on, people everywhere are wondering! For some it is God's punishment, for others this disease is a fabrication of the Western powers to destroy the world. In Africa in particular, comments are going around accusing, rightly or wrongly, the world powers seeking to reduce the population...
What must we think? There is no need to go back over all that this has caused in the social, health and economic life of peoples. The important thing is to ask ourselves what is the spiritual meaning of this event for the life of the believers that we are?
Is God seeking to punish humanity? Certainly not! Since the time of Noah when God promised not to destroy the world, our hope is unequivocal; He is not the God of the dead but of the living! This pandemic has forced us to stop, the world itself has stopped as if to tell us: where are we going? Why or for whom are we running? What is the meaning of our lives? Deprived of their Eucharistic assemblies, have Christians acquired another sense of God?
What we observe is that our lives, our comforts, our habits and even our certainties are so fragile, and that a small virus could endanger what we thought we had mastered.
The biblical image of the calming of the storm can be evoked. We have the impression that Jesus sleeps while the world trembles! Yes, He sleeps because He is confident; He to whom the world and all creation belongs "sleeps" but watches, He will not let the world fall apart through the fault of men. Rather, He invites humanity to wake up and seek the essential: Life! God invites us to live fully in the present time and to cultivate hope in the future. He invites us to weather the storm of this pandemic for more life.
During this time of forced pause due to Covid-19, we did not stop praying, begging the Lord to take this pandemic away from us; on the contrary, we grasped from within what gives us life: personal prayer, prayer as a family, more attention to each other, more creativity in organizing our daily life, etc... So it is the present moment that counts, how we can live it intensely and spiritually so that God is at the center and helps us to get through this storm that has risen without warning... Where will we draw the strength to make life triumph if not in the Resurrection of Christ victorious over death?
After Covid-19, will we still have the humility to hold on to the essential and to know how to ask the Creator for help no matter what happens? St. Maximus the Confessor said: "Humility is continuous prayer in tears and sorrow. Never ceasing to call on God for help, it does not allow anyone to rely madly on his own power and wisdom, nor to rise above others. These are the hard diseases of prideful passion.”
One of the great lessons we will have learned from this pandemic is humility and simplicity in welcoming the unexpected and the audacity to turn constantly to God. Christ tells us: "Take my yoke upon you ...yes, my yoke is easy to bear, and my burden light. (Mt 11:29, 30). In the face of trial, sickness and suffering, be aware that the Lord carries our burdens with us; we must make ourselves small and humble so as not to rely only on our own strength, for it is a temptation that always lurks, but to rely on the One Who has overcome evil and suffering.
In this Easter season, let us allow ourselves to be enlightened by a living faith in Christ's Resurrection, to contaminate the world with the joy that flows from within each one of us, in contact with the Risen One, to make life triumph. Whatever happens, Life will have the last word. Otherwise our faith in the Risen Jesus is in vain!
Sister Marie-Madeleine AGONOU RA