Dear Sisters and Brothers, Jesus said in Matthew 11:28,
“Come to me. all you who labour and are burdened, and I will give you rest.”
For Pope Francis, these very words express the solidarity of the Son of Man with all those who are hurt and afflicted. (Message of Pope Francis for the 28th World Day of the Sick)
In this time of crisis, we are called to reflect on our selves and the society we live, what we have done and what we have failed to do.
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is one of the most threatening challenges of our time. In a matter of months, it has caused operations of numerous institutions and organizations globally to be temporarily halted and, thus, huge losses in economic productivity and social benefits that would be felt for the foreseeable future.
The COVID-19 pandemic is a reminder for us to take care of our environment. Let us remember that the environment is not just referring to Mother Nature and all the biodiversity surrounding us, but also our fellow human beings. We are paying the price for our repeated disregard for the dignity of other life on Earth, with our poorest and most vulnerable sectors at highest risk of loss due to the pandemic.
As we face a situation that most of us has never experienced before, we join our fellow advocates on caring for our common home in calling for people from all faiths to stand in solidarity in addressing the pandemic. We must avoid sharing false information to prevent the spreading of not just COVID-19, but also panic and fear to our fellow human beings.
While we must exercise caution, let us not let fear and panic overtake our judgment during this time. Instead, let ourselves become living embodiments of mindfulness, generosity, and compassion for our loved ones and for others. Taking care of others, when necessary, is as important in preventing the worsening of the COVID-19 pandemic as taking care of ourselves.
Moving forward, we need to prioritize the health of nature, of which humans are merely a part. We must undertake the necessary societal measures to avoid repeating history and prevent a pandemic or even an outbreak from happening again.
Whether it is a pandemic or pollution, we must break out of our self-destructive cycle and bring forth the sustainability, equity, and social justice that our world deserves.
Pope Francis, in his encyclical Laudato Si’, On Care for our Common Home, number 33, reminds us that
“It is not enough, however, to think of different species merely as potential “resources” to be exploited, while overlooking the fact that they have value in themselves.”
Let us all pray together:
(Oratio Imperata against the spread of the COVID 19)
God our Father,
we come to you in our need
To ask protection against the COVID 19
That has disturbed and claimed lives.
We pray that you guide the people
Tasked to find cure for this disease and to stem its transmission.
Protect the medical experts that they may minister to the sick with competence and compassion.
We pray for those afflicted.
May they be restored to health soon.
Protect those who care for them.
Grant eternal rest to those who have died.
Give us the grace in this trying time
To work for the good of all and help those in need.
We implore you to stop the spread of this virus
And to save us from our fears.
Grant this through our Lord, Jesus Christ, your Son,
Who lives and reigns with You, in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God, forever and ever. Amen.
We fly to Your protection, O Holy Mother of God.
Do not despise our petition in our necessities,
But deliver us always from all dangers.
O glorious and blessed Virgin Mary. Amen.
Our Lady, health of the sick, pray for us.
St. Raphael the Archangel, pray for us.
St. Rock, pray for us.
St. Lorenzo Ruiz, pray for us.
St. Pedro Calungsod, pray for us.