Fr. Godina A. Chinkanda, SIP Diocese of Dedza, Malawi
Since the out break of the pandemic of covid -19 in 2020, our lives have changed a lot; so much so that we are not going to be the same again. We wear masks even in the shops and banks, which called for alarm some years back when people were seen wearing masks and tried to enter these places. However, something positive has come up with this pandemic, which has called for the need of community life.
There are moments when we need to be alone in life, alone, without human beings around. This is a moment of prayer. During this time, we feel we just want to be connected with nature in creation. Actually, this is a reunion with the Creator of nature Himself and us. We withdraw to a lonely place on our own. To a non-believer, this is just an appreciation of nature, but to a believer, this is prayer. Even Jesus withdrew in a lonely place, but this was for prayer (Mk 6:46). He also used to pray with his disciples on the Mount of Olives (Lk22:39). In Gethsemane, though he was with his disciples, he left them some distance away (Mk 14:32-42) to be alone with the Father. He was in communion with the Father. So we can rightly say that Jesus was never alone. If he was not with the audience, he was with his disciples. When he left his disciples, he was with the Father. He was always in a community. Man was made not to be alone. “It is not right that man should be alone” Gen.2:18.
We in the SIP have one of our trusts, “Brotherly community”. In this community spirit, we develop some need for the other. We realize that we cannot be alone. Let it be known that those who commit suicide have pushed aside their community, have abandoned God’s power in their lives, and have tried to solve their problems alone. By the time they decide to kill themselves, life has no more meaning. Let us not forget “We are, because you are”, that is the need for community life.
We are going through the covid-19 pandemic, which demands quarantine when we are sick, or when we go to another country. This is a time when we have seen more the need of community life. Abandoning a victim of covid-19 in quarantine is tantamount to issuing a death warrant. The patient may be so confused that one can think that one has been abandoned even by God. So let us stand as one in a community during these difficult moments. Let us pray for our brothers and sisters in the Opus who have died through the attack of the corona virus. As one community, these souls need our prayers now. Others will also pray for us once we will go from this world.