Holy Week marks the most solemn and important season of the year for all Christians. Strictly speaking, this well anticipated celebration is considered to be more sacred and profound than Christmas because here we commemorate the center of Christ’s redemption, His passion, death and resurrection.
But this year’s Holy Week will be the most unusual celebration as the Covid-19 crisis continues causing havoc globally. With the enchanced community quarantine in place, no crowded processions, no visitas iglesias, no cenaculos - everybody needs to stay home. Masses were already suspended in many countries, with many churches livestreaming services with only a priest and a couple others in the church.
During this Holy Week, the question: Covid-19 or Christ, which will have the greatest impact in our life? When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the people welcome Him with shouts of “Hosanna Son of David.” But as the days advanced, the people got infected with the virus of the scribes and pharisees, that later they will start shouting “crucify him.”
Similar to the coronavirus that cannot distinguish the innocent from the guilty, the poor from the rich, these infected crowds also convicted Jesus and freed Barrabas. Seemingly Jesus’s death, the virus of the high priests declared victory.
In the global village of social media, the viruses that used to corrupt files in our computers, had worsened. Nowadays no longer the computers but the users are corrupted with lies and hatred. Has evil declared victory over the good but silent majority?
Covid-19 continues to claim lives. And the curve continues to rise. The war is not yet over. It is still being waged. Good Friday is not the culmination of the Holy Week, but Easter Sunday.
Christ’s battle against the evil is over. He already won for us! Jesus’ virus of love is more powerful than any form of virus. He already flattened the curve of hatred.
The social media that use to communicate lies and hatred is now being transformed as a means not only to unite friends but more importantly to commune with God. We have maximized and Christianized the use of Facebook and Youtube. In flattening the wrong use of the social media, many are now sharing the Holy Mass and forward words of hope in the midst of our fears.
Pope Francis speaks of the sorrow and pain that “everyone” is experiencing due to the coronavirus. The only way to survive this situation, he says, is by coming together. It will teach us that “universal kinship” is important and critical. We should think about it like a “post-war” phenomenon, he says: “It will no longer be ‘them’. It will be ‘us’. Because we can only come out of this situation together”.
As one community and family, we really need to stand together against all forms of virus that destroy humanity. Certainly after Holy Week amidst this Covid-19 pandemic, we need to renew and recreate ourselves. We see Christ’s triumph as we flatten the curve of sinfulness by increasing our faith as one family and people.
Let this be an opportune time for us to look at the very basics of life, of being community, of being brothers and sisters slowly but surely moving towards that Brotherhood of Men under the Fatherhood of God.
A Fruitful and Meaningful Holy Week to everyone!