20 April, Monday – Christ Beckons

Acts 4:23:31
Jn 3:1-8

Why this arrogance among the nations, these futile plots among the peoples?

Here in Singapore, we are in Week 3 of what our government has called a ‘circuit breaker’ mode in order to stop the spread of local transmissions of COVID-19, which has seen a pretty alarming spike in cases on a daily basis. In typical fashion, we have given various meanings to the acronym ‘CB’ and as I was taking a break from my WFH (‘work from home’) routine, the phrase ‘Christ Beckons’ came to me.

As governments around the world try to cope, with varying degrees of success, we have started to see some results and new waves of infections across the globe. From denial, arrogance, and sheer ineptitude; to measures implemented which, depending on your perspective and where you live, could be described as authoritarian, almost draconian…there has been no shortage of commentary from all levels of society. So the verse above rings loud and clear for me. He is indeed asking of many of us, why we continue to remain defiant. In the face of probably the most lethal, most destructive force in all of known history, what else is required for us to realise there is nothing on earth that can be done in this fight, other than to submit in humility and obedience? 

Brothers and sisters, Christ beckons us now — to be humble; to reach out to the poor; to help those who struggle daily to make ends meet; to be more appreciative of those who are risking their lives in whatever shape or form; to be thankful for the daily-rated workers who toil away, keeping our fragile societies going.

Christ beckons us now — to communicate with family members who we have taken for granted; to learn something new about ourselves; to give back to small businesses who continue to ply their trade so that we can receive sustenance; to seek shelter in our homes (not houses, nor apartments) and rediscover Him in those closest to us. I, for one, have enjoyed daily meals with my 80-yr old mother and 83-yr old uncle living under the same roof. Before all this, I used to only eat at home on the rare weekday and Sunday.

Christ beckons us now — to discover something new about a family member; to truly understand what it means to be a caregiver to an elderly parent, and to be a parent; to know how an hour feels when one is confined to a room…or to a bed; to listen to the sounds of nature (something we may have forgotten in our previous hustle and bustle life); to discern the cry of a newborn baby, or the anxiety in the voice of someone we haven’t spoken to in years; to connect as humans all on the same boat; to unite in prayer each day, as we wish for an end to this pandemic…and for life to go back to normal.

Brothers and sisters, I invite everyone today to reflect on what ‘normal’ will be like for you when we finally get to attend Mass again, to meet Him in the Eucharist and to share that holiest of meals with one another. I hope and pray that we will treasure His presence even more.          

(Today’s OXYGEN by Desmond Soon)

Prayer: Father God, we ask that you soften the hearts of those who remain arrogant, defiant and who continue to think that they have all the answers in this harrowing time

Thanksgiving: Dear Abba Father, we take comfort in your presence and guiding hand. Thank you for never losing faith in us, nor letting us out of your sight. We know that in your plan of salvation, you will lead us out of this pandemic into a new beginning.

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