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Keeping our faith amid COVID-19


BY FR. BEL R. SAN LUIS, SVD


In today’s Second Sunday of Easter, the apostle Thomas manifested a lack of trust of Jesus’ Resurrection. Because of this, the term “doubting Thomas” was coined to describe all doubters and skeptics.

The skeptical apostle said, “Unless I see the scars of the nails in his hands and put my finger on those scars and my hand in his side, I will not believe” (Jn 20,24).

Thomas got his wish after the ensuing week when the Risen Lord appeared. Mildly censuring him, Jesus said, “Put your finger here, and look at my hands. Touch and feel my side. Cease to doubt, but believe!” (Jn 20,27).

Confronted with the real person, there was no more need for Thomas to touch and feel Christ’s wounds. Instead, he fell on his knees and cried: “You are my Lord and my God.” In this trying time, we need the faith of Thomas.

FLATTENED BY COVID-19 VARIANT

There’s an amusing story about a badly troubled man. He approached a priest and asked: “Bless me, Father, because my family is in crisis! My son is a drug user, my daughter an unwed mother, and my wife a gambler, and continued unburdening his problems. The priest got tired listening. He said, “Brod, everything you’re saying is negative. Isn’t there anything positive? The man replied: “Positive? Yes, Father. I’m… HIV positive!”

Of course, HIV positive is still negative. But that joke illustrates that in our “valley of tears,” we experience a lot of sufferings, trials and tribulations. Presently, we are flattened by health and financial crises due to the dreadful new coronavirus variant. Because of the lengthy lockdowns, workers lose their jobs, victims of the no-work-no-pay policy.

The twin crises have caused personal and family problems like those who cannot pay their monthly bills or medications and treatments for dialysis, cancer, and lingering sicknesses.

Then there is the extreme kind of weariness bordering on severe depression, despair, and even suicide.

DO WE ALSO GO TO GOD?

We go to the doctor when we have a sickness and that’s needed. But do we also go to church or pray at home and bring our problem to God?

One time I was conversing with a doctor. I said, “Doc, do you believe in the saying, ‘God heals; the doctor collects the fee?’” He laughed. “There’s some truth to that, Father,” he replied, “because if God doesn’t will the cure, we doctors cannot do anything.”

The words of Jesus are, therefore, very timely and consoling: “Come to me all who are weary and find life burdensome, and I will give you rest “(Mt 11,28).

Jesus teaches us to cultivate relinquishment, the ability to let go of our anxieties and put ourselves in His hands.

However, let us ask ourselves. Does the fault lie in me as, for instance, I incurred lung cancer due to cigarette smoking? Or, got broke due to vices? Or, not exerting enough effort to look for some alternative work during this time of crisis?

DO YOUR BEST, GOD WILL DO THE REST

In our “7 Last Words” TV presentation last Good Friday, we featured Jeffrey Sioson who works as a delivery man of various goods, using his bicycle. Jeffrey pedals as far as Nasugbu, Batangas; Cavite, and Antipolo. In his sharing, he said, “I have to do it to help my seven siblings finish their studies. One customer was so touched by his arduous work that he donated a new and bigger bicycle. It didn’t end there. The good customer posed Jeffrey’s story on Facebook and some readers donated three more bikes! Jeffrey prays devotedly but combines it with “sipag at tiyaga” (diligence and perseverance).

A successful and enterprising lady said: “I work hard. I do my best, and God will do the rest.”

DIVINE MERCY SUNDAY

Sr. Faustina Kowalska, to whom the Lord appeared several times, declared the simple message: the Heart of Jesus is overflowing with divine mercy toward sinners and wants all to come to him with trust-filled love.

This invitation is powerfully expressed in the classic painting of the Risen Christ. Jesus himself had instructed Sr. Faustina to have the sentence “JESUS, I TRUST IN YOU” written at the bottom of that painting.

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“If you’re headed in the wrong direction, God always allows u-turns.” That’s the message of Jesus, the Divine Mercy.

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APPEAL. Let me fervently appeal for help to the following: Bernadette V., a COVID-19 patient, five-yearold leukemia patient Alison L., Rosanna C., M. Maranga, Jacky L. sick of asthma.

Kindly donate any amount to buy medicines and food. Pope Francis once said, “Your good works will be your PASSPORT to Heaven.”

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For inquiry, e-mail me at [email protected] or send donation through my BDO savings account Fr. Isabelo San Luis #0002251623.

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