The Lent – 2020 may be marked in black in the history of the Church. The usual pious practices of Worship, Way of the Cross and special prayers even the most important Sacraments of the Eucharist and Reconciliation ….everything was banned in public and in churches due to the exponential spreading of the deadly Corona Virus.
“Beware of practicing your piety before others in order to be seen by them; for then you have no reward from your Father in heaven.” (Mt 6: 1)
Hence, it has helped the entire humanity, especially the Christians to do the above mentioned practices in ‘secret’(at home)! (“Your Father who sees in secret will reward you”) [Mt 6: 4, 6 & 18]
Perhaps, God wants it to be done so. Every house has become a temple and every heart has become a tabernacle of God. We are forced to stop bothering about the exterior but to focus on our own inner self. Now, we realize that it is more difficult to travel to our interior than travelling around the world. It is boring and painful to remain shut in the closed doors but now we have learnt to value certain things of which we were very indifferent, such as relating with our family and friends, breathing pure air, work, leisure, food and shelter. Now every minute thing seems to be wonderful, simple grass, plants, flowers and their colours, the sun rise and sun set, the clear blue sky, the silence on streets etc. We stand in awe at everything that happens around us. God speaks to us in such deep silence and we can also listen to God. Is it not marvelous? It is as important to experience God through such ordinary things of life as we do it through meditating upon the passion and Cross.
The Palm Sunday has passed without the procession with branches of Palms but with our silent shouting of ‘Hosanna’. Maundy Thursday was observed without the celebration of the Eucharist and ‘washing of the feet’. But we got to see the parents washing the feet of their children and the children washing the feet of their parents, breaking the traditional practice of Priests and Bishops washing the feet of the faithful! It is still worrying us that a ‘Good-Friday’ without any dramatic display of ‘The Way of the Cross’! Easter is also over without the blessing of fire and water, no candle with Alpha & Omega.
We are unable to receive the Lord sacramentally these days. But when we receive him in our hearts spiritually, let us not forget to include in our prayers all those are affected by the deadly disease ‘COVID -19’, the people who are rendering health and civil services.
Now, what is our real disposition? Are we panic with Pandemic or are we passionately looking forward to get back all the privileges that we are missing during these days of “Lock down”? However, let us not go away from ‘Jerusalem’ like those two disciples who went towards Emmaus, having lost their hope. Instead, let us trust and believe that the Risen Lord is staying with us; let our inner eyes be opened; let us recognize his living presence at every moment of our life through people and events; let our hearts burn within us and let’s sing aloud ‘Alleluia!’, for the Lord is risen indeed!