Covid-19 pandemic, an unknown virus till it struck the planet earth has turn the world upside down and brought the world to standstill. The virus has spread to almost all corners of the universe causing thousands of deaths and thousands infected. The life and activity of humanity is closed down, it has also closed down the Church buildings but one thing is for sure it has no power to close down the Church, real Church that you are. 1 Corinthians 3:16-17 says “Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If anyone destroys the temple of God, God will destroy that person, for the temple of God is holy, and you are that temple.”
So, dear Church, you are to remain open. Are you reminded of the call of St. Francis of Assisi in 12th century to repair the house of God? This is the time to be what is our calling to be the true church/house of God.
Covid-19 has cancelled many things but everything is not cancelled. Sun is not cancelled, rain is not cancelled, spring is not cancelled, reading, dance, music, imaginations are not cancelled, prayer and devotions are not cancelled, relationships and conversations are not cancelled, ALTAR (Adoration, Love, Thanksgiving, Asking, Resolution) is not cancelled, kindness, mercy, compassion and forgiveness are not cancelled, love is not cancelled and above all hope is not cancelled.
The public liturgical services held at the church buildings are cancelled and closed. Social distancing now called physical distancing and no public liturgical services at the church buildings could be hard on each one of us but you as the Church of God can remain open to be true church wherever you are, you can be the church that God expects you to be…nobody can close the church that you are. In this trouble time, dear people of God, remain open to God and to others in being good human. Strengthen your domestic church, spend time in spiritual communion, prayer and other spiritual exercise. Spread the virus of Love around you, give hope to each other and hold each other in prayer.
Manoj Xalxo, OFM