Closure of Churches due to Corona Virus (COVID-19)

When something akin to Coronavirus threatened the very life of the infant Jesus Christ, it was to Egypt that God sent him for safety. It wasn't anywhere in Israel. One of my colleagues referred to this big threat to the life of the infant Jesus as contained in the Gospel of Mathew 2:13-23 as Covid-Herod. Egypt would have been the most unlikely place for a Jew to seek shelter or refuge in the days of Jesus because for the Jews, it was a land of Idol worshippers, a pagan country, a gentile country but God in his wisdom chose that land. God had so many better choices or means to use in saving the life of Jesus. For instance, he could have asked Joseph to hide the child in the Temple of Jerusalem, since the temple, like the churches of today, should provide immunity to worshippers from the attack of King-Herod-killer-virus.

God is not angry with us for closing our Churches or public worship to stem the tide of this killer virus referred to as coronavirus or Covid-19. The Bishops have issued a statement telling us that we are free from the obligation to attend Sunday mass and the other holy days of obligation as long as the closure directive persists. There is no sin at all here because we have been dispensed. We are also doing a great good by obeying our government, statutory, health and religious authorities because they represent God in this particular circumstance. 

We can pray from our homes and with our families or alone because the Bible did not say that we must pray only when we gather at mass, in groups or church buildings (see Matthew 18:20).

It has been established that the virus is speedily transmitted at mass gatherings. So, stopping or ceasing to gather in mass or as a staying away from the crowd makes huge sense, it is a good way to stem the tide of this killer virus, this silent enemy. Let us pray to God in the confines of our homes, praying together as a family or as an individual if we live alone. In doing this we are assisting in our own way those who are working hard to protect us. We are also saving our own lives and that of others. Let us stay at home, in the house, at this critical time. Let us run from the coronavirus as Joseph and his family did. Even in Egypt God was with his only begotten Son and with the Holy Family. In our rooms and houses and families, God is with us and will bless us. 

The Apostle Paul writing to the Romans said “…hardship develops perseverance, perseverance develops character, character produces hope and hope does not disappoint, since the love of God has been poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit given to us.’ (Rom 5:3-5). We are people of profound hope. We will remain firm in faith and generous in charity, through Christ the ‘hope of glory,’ alive within us. (cf. Col 1:27). Let us continue to pray for all those working to overcome the effects of the Coronavirus and all those affected by it. 

I wish to recommend that you kindly listen to the Youtube music by Lynda Randle which says “God of the Mountain is still God in the Valley. When things go wrong, he makes them right. And God of the good time is still God in the bad time. The God of the day is still God in the night.”  This music inspires me a lot at a time like this. 

– By Fr. Innocent Abonyi, MSP

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.