Author Topic: Essay by Maximo Tumbali: "Reflections This Holy Week in the Time of Covid-19"  (Read 20397 times)

Joe Carillo

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Reflections This Holy Week in the Time of Covid-19
Essay by Maximo Tumbali, Forum Member

Myriads of dire and sad events are happening these days as we get into the thick of dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic. Sadly, up to now we have yet to see signs of tangible improvement in the collective effort to contain this silent but widespread assault on our health and well-being. This is because despite the stringent measures put in place to ensure the effectivity of our Enhanced Community Quarantine or ECQ, not a few among us still refuse to cooperate and follow the guidelines to halt the spread of this vicious viral disease.

On the aspect of food and cash distribution intended for the poor, corruption again appears to be lurking its ugly head. This has led to the piling up of complaints, ranging in alleged pocketing by local government officials of aid meant for indigents to the selective or unequal distribution of food packs and cash to their intended beneficiaries.

All these and more are being perpetrated by the greedy souls among us who deliberately thwart the essence and spirit of our celebration of Holy Week at this point in time. Such displays of callousness and impunity don’t bode well for our aspiration and longing to turn our society for the better.

IMAGE CREDITS: (LEFT) GMANETWORK.COM,   (RIGHT) COVID-19 ASEAN BRIEFING


As I personally reflect this Holy Week on how things are developing, what comes to mind is the lack of understanding among not a few of us of the purpose and meaning of suffering in the context of our Christian faith and belief. We tend to understand suffering as anything felt or experienced that makes life difficult or unbearable. As Christians, we typically attach suffering to some kind of punishment for our sins and transgressions.

If our thinking stops there, though, the meaning to us of suffering would not go any further than its usual definition, which is to put up with something inevitably or unavoidably unpleasant or painful in the expectation that something somehow some good would result from it. And we know that dealing with personal suffering or crisis is no easy task. It could make or unmake us depending on the magnitude or degree of our suffering. The experience could seriously test our mettle; it could change our good behavior to bad. And it becomes even more worrisome when others commit misdemeanors and wrongdoing because of their suffering, then make their suffering an alibi for those acts.

To gain a clear and better perspective of human suffering, I would like to dissect the kind of suffering Jesus Christ went through on the road to his crucifixion and how He confronted it. The Gospel says Jesus was a sinless man and yet, unjustly, he had to suffer the most inhuman treatment ever. Although a Son of God, Jesus did not seek His Father’s help to keep Him safe from physical harm. He embraced His suffering with nary a complaint.

What he had held onto in those moments of suffering was his firm resolve to do His Father’s will—to suffer and die for the sinners and for the salvation of humanity. In the light of this, and considering that we were the ones who had sinned and not He, have we for once thought that Jesus did not deserve to suffer what he suffered? Has it entered our minds that Jesus could have chosen to disobey His Father’s will but decided otherwise?

Under the same circumstances, could we be as strong, steadfast, persevering, and faithful as Jesus for the love and salvation of mankind? Could we ourselves endure even a pittance of how Jesus suffered? Could we accept suffering for the love of God and humanity?

The suffering of Jesus our Savior should serve as a lens through which we should examine our own suffering, to discover if such suffering is being borne by us for the sake of others and not for our own personal gain or benefit. In the case of Jesus, He knew beforehand that He was going to suffer and die on the cross and get resurrected after three days. But He did not balk at that prospect nor think only of himself and his safety. What He did was to forgive his murderers for not knowing what they were doing. He even invited and asked the sinners around him to repent.

Today, as we continually struggle with the corona virus pandemic, we need to reflect on how Jesus had triumphed over his suffering and death. Is it possible or probable for us to imitate him? I believe we can if our belief in the Father Almighty remains strong and if we remain unfazed despite the deadly scourge that silently rages in our midst.

So let our personal suffering in these perilously trying times be our stepping stone towards reforming ourselves and in turning back to God. Let us turn our current crisis into an opportunity to become better children of God. Indeed, we can turn this Season of Lent into a most opportune time to repent and to be truly good followers of Jesus Christ who is our savior.
« Last Edit: April 09, 2020, 08:12:47 PM by Joe Carillo »