Dear Fathers, Sisters and the Faithful,
Man was running in a great speed madly to acquire money, wealth, comfort and convenience. In this process, he started to exploit the universe, destroying the forests, polluting rivers, seas and the air, building up mansions and arms and caused ecological imbalance. There was time to time warnings came from the nature itself by the way of lack of rain, floods, cyclones. But man had not heeded to these warnings. Now Covid 19 Virus has put a road block to his mad race.
We must be aware that such epidemics are not new in the human history. There were plagues like Antonine Plague from 165 – 180 AD – 5 million people died, Justinian Plague from 541 – 543 AD – 30 – 50 million people died, Great Black (Bubonic) Plague in Europe from 1346 – 1353 – 200 million people died, the Spanish Flu from1918 – 1920 – 40 – 50 million people died, Cholera 6 Outbreak from 1817 – 1923 – 1 million people died, the Asian Flu from 1957 – 1958 – 1.1 million people died and the Hong Kong Flu from 1968 – 1970 – 1 million people died. Time to time the nature calls us to stop the mad rush of the mortal humans.
The 17th century French mathematician Blaise Parcel remarked “All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone”. Now we are all forced to sit quietly in a room on account of the Covid 19 Pandemic. There is globalization not only in economy but also in the Pandemic.
The entire world is in incubation not only because of Pandemic Covid 19 but also because of the safety of human lives. We are forced to remain in our houses to protect ourselves from this Pandemic. It is a rare moment in history to go into incubation to reflect on the essentials of human life. It is an opportunity given to us to start an adventurous journey of self discovering. It is an invitation to make a dynamic meditation “Know thyself” said Greek philosopher Plato. Now one has a chance to spend some quality time with oneself and with others.
The first lesson, we need to learn is to balance human life and progress. Man is not merely a matter but he has the Spirit. Man is made in the “image and likeness” of God. Material wealth, comfort and convenience will not satisfy man’s longing. He needs to spend sometime daily in communion with God. He needs to grow in his spiritual life.
Secondly, it invites us to know our strength and weakness. It is a moment of self examination of self discovery about our relationship with the family, children, relatives, friends and colleagues. It is a moment to develop our strength and a moment to seek remedy for our weakness. It is a moment to spend quality time with the family members, reading, writing, storytelling, sharing of experiences and discussion on certain issues of life. It is a moment of cleaning our houses and doing gardening together with the family members. When everyone is involved in the work it becomes easy and enjoyable and it creates bonding and understanding.
Thirdly, it calls for respect to nature. Man is the only organism that has overpowered all other animals, taken control of the whole planet and ever set foot on the moon. Now it stands humbled by a microorganism. We need to be reminded that we are biological organisms dependent on other organisms for survival. Humankind’s craving to control nature and exploit its recourses for profit can be wiped out in a stroke by an organism we cannot even see with our naked eyes.
Fourthly, the nature tells us that we are all equal. This new virus strikes beyond man-made distinctions of religion, race, languages and nationality. The world has been drawing distinctions and waging war one against the other. But suddenly we are made to realize through this pandemic that we have one identity – human beings. It is a call to realize that we are brothers and sisters of one human family. We are our brothers’ keeper.
Hence we need to follow the instructions of the government and medical personals from the Pandemic. At the same time learn lessons for life so that we may enjoy a quality of life on the earth and protect the mother earth for the future generations to come.
I request you to pray in special way for all those who are affected by the Corona Virus 19 so that they may experience the healing touch of the Lord. We pray for all the medical personals and government officials and all care giving volunteers that they may be protected from this virus. Let us all pray for the repose of the souls of those who died due to the Corona virus that they may find eternal reward in the Lord.
Most Rev. Dr. M. Devadass Ambrose
Bishop of Thanjavur