If there is one sentiment that all humanity share in common right now it is the ordeal brought in by the corona virus. In varying degrees, this pandemic has affected each one of us. At the very least, we are all aware of how everyone’s freedom of movement (location wise) has impacted our lives. Lockdown for some means being locked up with people who they least want to be with. The consequence for most people, especially in third world countries, is access and means to secure the basic necessities of life. Our guts are stirred as we probe our incapacity to alleviate the pain of those whose share of the crunch is more than they can bear. And so, we ask God, sometimes like a child who throws tantrums when their parents won’t give explanations for imposing certain restrictions: Why are these things happening?!!!
There is a video posted by the Aquinas Institute on whether the coronavirus is a punishment from God (https://bit.ly/3eDDdGl). Indeed, in the Old Testament God uses natural causes, to bring the message across: Knowledge of God. According to St. Thomas Aquinas, we cannot love what we do not know. When we grow in the understanding of God, we also grow in love of him. How well a person knows God is manifested by how well the person obeys his commands. The Lord Jesus tells us that the greatest commandment is to love God above all things, with all one’s powers and potentialities. It is followed by a command to love one’s neighbour as one’s self. Is something catastrophic as this pandemic enough to merit some time for us to pause and examine ourselves individually and as a community? How do I know that I know God? The Bible tells us that the way we can be sure of our knowledge of Christ is to keep his commandments. (1 John 2:3)
What has one’s knowledge of God got to do with this pandemic? Perspective. As a community of believers, we grow in the knowledge and love of God when we focus our sight on the finish line. We are all on a journey and our destination is heaven. Exitus-reditus is the theme of St. Thomas Aquinas’ Summa Theologiae. We are to return to God, where we came from, the true source of all of our happiness and real joy.
Life is a gift from God. In the Old Testament and for the Jews, blood which brings forth life, is from God. A person becomes impure when he touches blood, because the person becomes in close contact with God. Blood is holy because it belongs to God. According to Leviticus blood is holy because blood is the source of life.Kadosh (קדש q-d-š) the word for holy in Hebrew means to set apart. With the coming of Jesus, “purity is no longer dependent on external purity regulations, but on the cleansing power of Jesus, the Holy One” (https://bit.ly/2Ik2wAS).
Science says that the Covid-19 is “a spiky ball of genetic material coated in fatty chemicals called lipids, and which measures 80 billionths of a metre in diameter. Humanity has been brought low by a very humble assailant” (https://bit.ly/3kjIjJ6). It evolved and became deadlier overtime.
We can look at this pandemic as God’s means to bring about his purposes, therefore it is not wrong to say that God is communicating something to us through this virus. It is for those who see through the eyes of faith, a means to return to Him. It is not always easy to see things that way, but for all the unanswered questions before the Lord we bend our knees and pray as the psalmist: Do not hide your face from me… for I put my trust in you (Ps 143).
Sor Jacqueline Manuel