Looking back at the start of this year, a lot of problems have already happened. From the eruption of the Taal volcano, Iran and the US threatened each other to war, the wildfires in Australia, the outbreak of the Novel Coronavirus 2019 and eventually leading to a global pandemic and the quarantine lockdown of most countries, including ours. In the middle of it all, the Lenten season arrives and a lot of people see this season as a time for us to recollect ourselves deeper through prayer, fasting and almsgiving in preparation for Easter. The lenten season invites us to give something up, usually the things that aren’t really necessary but give us joy or satisfaction (like the traditional no meat fridays).
The COVID-19 pandemic came and took a lot from us, leaving us in a situation made as though we literally gave up a lot of our wants in this season of lent. We are on lockdown, mass gatherings are cancelled, some schools were suspended and work was very limited. What’s worse is that Masses and sacraments were cancelled, distancing ourselves from the physical presence of God. In this situation, I find myself wondering, where is God in all of this? The Lord affirmed me through an online recollection I attended. In spite of all that is happening around us, God continues to be with us. God is and will always be a just and loving God. He continues to affirm us of His loving presence despite the darkness that is surrounding us. God is present in each and every one of us. He is with the medical frontliners, with the volunteers, with the government officials, with the homeless, and with us who are in our homes.
Now more than ever, this Lenten season gives us an opportunity to fully reconnect ourselves with God. In this time of despair and hopelessness, God is calling us to cling on to Him, to remain in His presence, and to pray for the healing of the world. This time also calls us to share God’s presence to the people around us, to bring the light in this time of darkness. This season invites us to become holier and prepare ourselves for the coming of Easter by hearing Mass through livestreams, making time for prayer & for our loved ones, and attending assemblies.
As we continue in this season of Lent, let us be reminded of Jesus’ suffering in His passion and death. In this season, let us continue to strive to become like Jesus, who was also tempted by the devil, who was persecuted, and eventually conquering sin and death, He continuously invites us to have a deeper and more personal relationship with Him. That at the end of this Lenten season, as we approach the holy week and eventually Easter, may we be hopeful that Jesus would rise again, and save us from our sins, from the darkness that we are in. To fully place all our trust in Him. In this time of Lockdown, God is not under lockdown and is opening Himself to us.
“All the darkness in the world cannot extinguish the light of a single candle.”
– St. Francis of Assisi
RJ Joquico is a mission volunteer serving at the area of NCR Central Area.