By Fr. Jude Ikechukwu Ezimakor
My dear friends, I would like to spare a little time to share my convictions about the present world situation. The reality before us is the rapid spread of this deadly disease, which has inevitably engendered a growing anxiety across the world. In fact, this could be seen as one of the greatest challenges of modern history. This is a time when the great world powers, thinkers and scientists stand with hands crossed and pondering on how to address the situation or better still where this Corona Virus pandemic is leading the world.
Be that as it may, I would like to draw our attention to one clear fact. The present situation of the world and the circumstances around it point to the fact that no matter how intelligent, educated, learned and vast we could be in worldly matters, we as human beings are limited. There is a stage, which we can never go beyond in our exploration of reality. Ancient Philosophers, who tried explaining the causes of the things in the world, reached a point where they had to make a leap of faith. In modern history and studies, there has been equally these attempts to give explanations and reasons for existence and all there is. Most of the time, not much efforts are really made to underscore the limitation of the human ratiocination and capacity.
With this in mind, I would like to assert that as human beings situated in this perfectly imperfect world, we are not only imperfect but also we are so constituted that we cannot see beyond us. All we could make are simply assumptions, thus, the application of cause and effect relationship, which is the foundation on which modern science is established. Without prejudice to this fact, it would be necessary to say that the mysteries surrounding human life and the existential reality cannot be explicated only within the parameter of science. Faith has a lot to communicate with respect to life and existence. It is based on this that I feel that seeking some lights from the arena of the supernatural may not be out of place in this whole experience.
On this note, one could posit the following questions:
- What is God trying to speak to the world about Himself at this time?
- As the Creator and Sustainer of all there is, what is He revealing to us through this disease?
- Is it a cause of joy for Him to see the works of His hands in such an unstable, deplorable and endangered state of existence?
- What is Jesus Christ our Saviour telling us within this holy period of Lent, when this kind of discipline we never imagined came upon us and we have no option other than to fit in to it because as a matter of life and death, it appears to be the only way out?
- Could this ‘stay home or keep distance’ attitude to avoiding the spread of this virus speak anything to us about our relationship with God?
- Could this distance away from our friends, family members and close companions point to closer step towards the Lord in whom the meaning and significance of this epidemic are found.
I think it wouldn’t be a bad idea to seek answers to these questions by turning a bit of attention to God, who remains the reason and the cause of all things. John Mason once said, ‘Whenever you fall, try and pick up something’. That means, try to pick up a lesson or lessons from every life experience.
What could we learn from all these:
- Humanity should learn to acknowledge its limitation and imperfection.
- Human science and world innovative powers have no last words in proffering solutions to all there is.
- Whatever thing we are able to achieve or discover or invent in world of science and technology, there is every need to trace its origin and source to God.
- This is the time for us all to learn an attitude of self surrender to God in all things. We are all made in His image and likeness (cf. Gen 1:26) and He assures that He is always with us till the end of time (cf. Matt 28:20). He equally reminded us that in the world, we will have tribulations of all kinds but we should be courageous, He has conquered the world (cf. John 16:33).
- Let us not forget that though this is a turbulent time for all of us but it is equally a moment of amazing grace.
Finally, may we seize this opportunity to interiorize our relationship with Christ, who came and suffered, died and rose from the dead. He came to make all things new and through this pandemic, He is making us new though with chastisement. It is only the people of faith, who will recognize what He is doing. He is writing a new history of us all, He is concretely speaking to the world and all of us. May we give Him once more the chance of creating us anew and making of us what He intends for us ab origine. May He bless and sustain us through this experience so that at the end, we shall live to tell the story, our testimony of faith!