Thursday, 23 April 2020 22:28




olsh coronavirus


In times of the COVID-19, some of the more classic phrases that reflect our Spirituality and our MSC missionary tradition have become more current and relevant.

Today humanity is suffering a global evil, unfortunately it is not the only one, but the arrival of this virus shows us how other failures in our systems still remain unfixed, many of them hidden, made up, forgotten... This pandemic shows the wounds that humanity and the planet are suffering.

abzalon 2019

In spite of how devastating and complex this time of pandemic is, for us as MSC it should be a time to practice solidarity with the victims and at the same time to value the great gift we have in our MSC Charism and Spirituality: in times like the one through which we are living today all over the world "to be the heart of God on earth" and "to love like Jesus who loved with a human heart" are phrases that make more sense, especially when a pandemic comes and reveals our global vulnerability. Ironically this vulnerability is the consequence of global systems that do not place the human being at the center, rather economic and powerful interests.

The ‘Common Home’ and all of humanity are suffering from the inhumanity of our political and commercial systems, that are even capable of eliminating those whom society consider "disposable". Systems that take advantage, even of the pandemic, to show the world who has more power - this is disappointing.

There is an urgent need for people who truly love with a human heart, and we have the possibility of BEING AND DOING IT from the Heart of the People of God. Our people are suffering from many different "evils", one of them being the Coronavirus pandemic today. There are other "pandemics" that are subtle lies that are not even catalogued as such, but that continue to kill more people in the world, such as misery, inequality, human trafficking, abuse, violence, destruction of the common home, etc.

But today what can we as MSC learn from this time of pandemic? I believe that something has to change within us, there has to be a change of mentality and commitment to co-creating new attitudes towards life.

Avoiding magical and/or apocalyptic interpretations, this pandemic has shown us some important things.

  1. That all that we have is the present and this must be lived to the full. It is the recovery of TODAY, tomorrow is uncertain. And we who are co-dependent, at times, on our programs, agendas and securities, are today experiencing insecurity, feelings of limitation and abandonment to what is uncertain.
  1. We need to experience the God of Jesus, to return to that God, who according to the Gospels is not the "God of the Temple". If this terrible pandemic has taught us anything, it is that the God we must follow and to whom we need to commit ourselves, is not limited by the walls of our churches, or by rituals, or by traditions, or by customs, or even by culture. All that is wonderful and good but these days even the unimaginable or what we considered "non-negotiable" has been "cancelled". Today we have been challenged to live and experience the God who is present in the heart of each one, in the heart of the people and, indeed, in the heart of our social networks. He is the God of the tents, the God who walks with his people on their journey, as in the Old Testament. These presences of God are as alive as the living presence of Christ in the Eucharist.
  1. This is a time of changing methodologies, of changes in systems, some of them up to now considered untouchable, for example the liturgy. Today we are being called to pray and experience God within our homes or apartments, to celebrate life online, to deconstruct customs that have made us forget the centrality of the “Domestic Church”. We are now doing what Jesus really proposed in his time and which was therefore prophetic and authentic. As wonderful as the community celebration is in our worship spaces, today even the most famous Basilicas and Shrines around the world have had to change their practice.
  1. The pandemic had to come to help us reduce the level of clericalism that has affected us so much in our MSC religious life. Today it is no longer the big and massive events that concern us, but the awareness of being a parish community or another kind, the lowliness of empty and virtually connected temples. This experience poses great challenges that require much creativity especially in the economic field. The pandemic is showing us that it is not impossible to reach the same end in new and more creative ways


Anyway, we could continue to list so many other realities with which this time of pandemic has confronted us and that should lead us to make adjustments such as changing our mind-set and strengthening our sense of belonging. We are also being called upon to be different after this pandemic experience. Let us hope that we will soon see the end of this pandemic, which is neither the first nor the last in the history of humanity, but which is what our generation is being called upon to live through and face courageously.

May we return to Jesus in this time of pandemic, and continue struggling to be authentic followers of Jesus, with more clarity and independence, freed from any pre-conceived ideas about what following Jesus entails.

Today, more than ever, the People of God need MSC to be signs of Hope and Consolation, men imbued with the spirit of prayer and listening, capable of being present where people suffer and run risks. Present now in a virtual way, but still a prophetic presence. We are all called and committed to maintain the process of deconstruction of securities that the same coronavirus is making us live through. So that together we co-construct new ways and strategies of being and acting as MSC in the real world.

                                                                                           Abzalón Alvarado, MSC