Theological Reflection on Covid-19 Pandemic

SHARE   |   Monday, 18 May 2020   |   By Rev. Tshiamo Stephen Takongwa
Theological Reflection on Covid-19 Pandemic

Rev. Tshiamo Stephen Takongwa

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Humanity has been attacked by the invincible enemy called Corona virus which is deadly. The invincible enemy has changed our day to day order of living. We are unable to do the same things in the same ways. You can’t plan long term, you can’t really stay close to people the way you or they might want. You have to stay in-door and wash your hands with soap as regularly as possible. That’s how the invincible enemy is dictating life to humanity.

Despite the gloom and darkness that the world is facing because of the Covid-19 pandemic we are all reminded that darkness does not have any power over light. “This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light and in him there is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5). Darkness may try to prevent the light from shining, but it never holds back the light enduringly. Ultimately the light will shine though. God as the creator of the universe is bigger than the Covid-19 health crisis. He can surmount all.

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Humanity has been attacked. Let’s remember that Jesus is the good shepherd. It is normal that when the sheep are attacked by the wolf there is fear and panic. Like the sheep that bolts from the sight of a wolf or a particularly scary-looking leaf, even one human person’s panic is liable to spook the whole herd. It is time to keep our heads up and respond in a calm way in the face of something that threatens our lives. Lets not forget the good shepherd Jesus Christ. God permits evil but He does not allow it to defeat us. He permits it only in order to bring greater good out of it, so that we will do a rethink on the way our lives are going. This is so, so that we turn back from sin and turn more towards Him with prayer and confessions in our homes when we face up to the fact that we often break His commandments. This crisis is a wake-up call from God to get back onto the right track again, the tract that leads to Him. For devout holy people it is a trial which will bring them even closer to God and straight to heaven should He will that they die. Therefore it is time that we face the wolf (Covid-19) with a calm spirit, trusting that He know what He is doing with each of us but not forgetting to follow Public Health regulations at the same time. The Second Vatican Council describes humanity as “social in our deepest nature”. We have to understand that relationships are not optional, that, in fact, they constitute human life.

Human beings are very vulnerable because we are powerless. We have to bear in mind that we affect each other negatively and positively. A lot of things in life are beyond our control. Humanity is gaining scientific and technological mastery over the physical world. As much as we are faced with Covid-19 we find ourselves coming up with a lot of inventions to try to defeat the invincible enemy (eg herbal tea from Madagascar). In principle is a good thing. As a consequence, it can become easy to lose sight of how helpless we still remain. It is good to help ourselves and that is what we should do. But we should at the same time guard against the fallacy of thinking that if I know about something I can also control it. Sometimes people get sick and all we can do is sit there, watch helplessly and suffer as long as we don’t have a cure for Covid-19.

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Death is certain for all of us. We are mortal beings who must all die one day. In that frame of mind, nothing is too extreme when attempting to defend ourselves against even the remotest possibility of death because nothing is worse than death from temporal point of view. No one wants to die. Even Jesus Christ was scared of death “Father, if you are willing, take this cup away from me. Nevertheless, let your will be done, not mine” (Luke 22:42). It is our responsibility to promote and safeguard our lives. There is something better than mere earthly life and that is eternal life which we have been promised by Jesus Christ in the next life and which we have already in this life by His grace in our souls when we receive the sacraments. At the same time there is something which is worse than death “because this son of mine was dead and has come back to life, he was lost is found. And they began to celebrate”. (Luke 15:24). I mean the death which is mortal sin. The prodigal son dead not physically but spiritually but he was restored again when he came back to his father.

When we are attacked with an invisible enemy like Covid-19 we need to have faith in God. Trust in God is very critical during these hard times. The love of God towards humanity will never change. God’s love is unconditional. God knows our weaknesses and the risks and responsibilities we face. Let us trust and pray and act boldly in good conscience. As people of faith let us not only remember to trust in the love of God for us, but to trust it enough to risk embodying this love for others like frontline workers, doctors, nurses, soldiers etc.  Let us be people who value love more than life and in so doing make whatever life we live, be it.

Think ahead. All of this will pass. All trials do. So let us trust in God. "Let us invite Jesus into the boats of our lives. Let us hand over our fears to him so that he can conquer them." Pope Francis said.

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Rev. Tshiamo Stephen Takongwa

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