September 11, 2020.

By the time COVID had struck, I was preoccupied with moving house to give it a second thought. It was not until a friend called me to report on the news and as soon as I hung up the phone, suddenly I was coughing and sneezing. Weird but true because before that I was totally fine. Great! Now I had a bigger task to clean and sanitize our new home before unpacking which took forever, was chaotic but accomplished.

A glimpse of fear kicks in as I surf the net and stumble across all sorts of COVID concoctions to boost the immune system, false prophets with their own spill and predictions, end times, etc. Much to my surprise, I was even gulping down some unpleasant concoctions which was short lived because I couldn’t fathom the taste. Where is my faith, I thought? And no wonder people are getting paranoid and fearful, especially the vulnerable and even Christians. Masks weren’t compulsory, then, so even a slight cough was too embarrassing because people looked at you strangely or hurried away.

Anyway, that hectic initial phase had passed and by the time Stage 4 restrictions surfaced, it was easy to adapt to. Overall, I have found this COVID lockdown period restful. There is a quality ‘me time’, focusing my energy creatively, completing unfinished diy projects, etc. Most importantly, there’s quiet time for prayer, reflection, participating in our live streamed masses and tons of room for spiritual nourishment. I’ve recalibrated my priorities and my family appreciates the closeness and bonding this COVID period has brought. Was able to participate in zoom workshops for the first time, watch inspiring speakers and also to exchange dialogue and inspiring notes with close friends.

My only disappointment is that “the source and summit of our Christian life”
(the Holy Eucharist) was reduced to being non-essential. Of course, that did not stop us from participating in the Sacrifice of the Mass online or being part of it for the privileged few. The early Christians took greater risks in secret worship amidst death threats, persecutions and volatile situations. Perhaps we could learn from their exemplary faith and trust that the Lord would not abandon them. Which brings me to this point of thanking both our priests, Fathers Chinua and Jude for initiating our live stream masses. Where would we be without you? It has been hectic, but you persevered with your small team of angelic helpers and made it happen… ‘so far so good’ as you would say!

While we continue to pray that this pandemic draws its last breath, let’s bear in mind that this is global and we’re not suffering alone. Our ‘crosses’ may have doubled or tripled since its intrusion into our lives, but what matters most is how we’ll bounce back from this experience… stronger & more faithful; change of heart and priorities; healthy & close-knit families with renewed prayer life; healthy & positive parish community; church-filled pews for mass with hunger for the Eucharist; anything is possible!

My favourite biblical quote and positive affirmation: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Phil 4:13) is what gets me through these anxious times and overcome fear!



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