10 April, Friday – Ctrl+Alt+Del

Good Friday

Isa 52:13-53:12
Heb 4:14-16; 5:7-9
Jn 18:1-19:42

he became for all who obey him the source of eternal salvation.

By now, the world would already have been engulfed by the COVID-19 virus and somehow, each of us would probably know of or even know someone who contracted the virus. And there could only have been one of two outcomes.

I have debated with friends over whether this was Nature’s way of hitting the ‘reset’ or ‘Ctrl-Alt-Delete’ button on us. After generations of excess, of plunder, of war and famine, of stripping the earth of its God-given beauty, of rapid technological advancement and a dehumanisation of the natural order of things, I truly wonder if this is God’s way of telling us “Stop, my children. You all need to refocus on Me.”

In many ways, the world has been stripped bare — just as Jesus was when they stripped Him of his garments. All of us — countries, governments, businesses, small business owners, leaders, managers, families — we have all been laid bare. Many of us have been stripped of our freedom to move around, stripped of things we have taken for granted, stripped of the joy of greeting a long-lost friend with a hug, stripped of basic necessities (remember the image of that old lady in the supermarket?), stripped of a livelihood, stripped of normalcy, stripped from our loved ones, from our priests…from being able to celebrate mass. That, for me, has been the ultimate price we are now paying. All because of a virus.

Make no mistake, brothers and sisters, what has happened in the past few months is nothing short of tragic. But if a virus can bring the whole world to its knees, then surely all it takes is for each of us to have faith the size of a mustard seed — so that we can go for mass, go for the Sacrament of Reconciliation, go for a walk with a group of friends, share a meal, take in a movie, watch a soccer match.

I am sure none of us can fathom what is happening around us now, unless you’re an epidemiologist. Even then…all they can tell us is to let the virus run its course. I am pretty sure no one who was on Calvary that fateful morning knew what was going on, let alone why the king of the Jews was hanging on that cross. The disciples had nothing to hold on to, except feelings of doubt, despair, anxiety. It is probably what many of us are feeling now —  at least, those of us who have been caught up in the throes of this pandemic. The rest of us watch from a safe distance, ensconced in our homes, isolated, unsure when this feeling will end. And, depending on where we live, wondering who we can trust — our government, our leaders, our bosses, the media, the neighbourhood gossip…

Brothers and sisters, I am convinced that God has pressed the ‘reset’ button on us. Simply because we have taken Him for granted for too long. I heard his voice yesterday as, in the midst of a flurry or work issues (while working from home), I decided to take a 5 minute walk around the house in the blazing heat. Here’s what I heard: “I am in control. Find an alternate route to me. Delete ALL that I have removed from your life and seek Me in the storms.”            

(Today’s OXYGEN by Desmond Soon)

Prayer: Father, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. We may not fathom all that is going on around us, nor understand why you have called so many back to you. But we know you want us to be renewed in our faith. And to seek you out amidst the storms.

Thanksgiving: Thank you Father, for all those you have blessed who have come forward fearlessly to serve humanity in this time of crisis. May you watch over them and keep their families safe from harm.

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