11 April, Saturday – (5th reading) He is Near

5th reading for Easter Vigil

Isa 55:1-11
Isa 12

“Seek the Lord while he is still to be found, call to him while he is still near.”

The cornerstone of our Christian faith is the resurrection of Jesus. After a period of austerity and abstinence, we look forward to Easter Sunday, rejoicing that Jesus has conquered death and that as His people, we can look forward to eternal life. 

This notion may seem distant now as we grapple with the impact of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the progressively tightened measures taken to get the outbreak under control. Beyond the initial hysteria-induced panic buying, we are just coming to terms with its true impact, such as the loss of lives and threatened livelihoods. While I am thankful to be in a recession-proof industry, my heart sinks each time a patient succumbs or when colleagues are infected. As a former healthcare front-liner turned administrator, I cannot help feeling frustrated by my human limitations.  

As a self-professed skeptic, I found myself rolling my eyes whenever my fiancé (who is clearly more spiritual) likens the current pandemic to Nineveh, a period for people to turn away from our sinful ways and return to God. At least until I had to pen a reflection for this passage (oops). 

Amidst the seemingly pervasive gloom, we are invited to listen and to seek the Lord. While we may not always understand the reason for the circumstances in our lives, we can hold true to His promise of an everlasting covenant. I am learning to put aside my doubts and to trust that these circumstances are part of His greater plan. As we await the coming of the risen Christ, let us take heart that God continues to be with us even in our darkest moments, and to never lose hope.        

(Today’s OXYGEN by Stephanie Seet)

Prayer: Father God, we pray for the souls of the faithful departed, bring them to Your heavenly home. We also pray for the families they have left behind, that they may find solace in You in their grief. Protect the front-liners in their mission, that they may bring healing and comfort to those who need their care.  Thanksgiving: Thank you Heavenly Father, for your promise of hope. Grant us the grace and disposition to share our faith with others amidst these trying times.

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