A STUDY by Amnesty International has found that at least 7,000 health workers have deceased worldwide after contracting COVID-19. At least 1,320 health workers are confirmed to have died in Mexico alone, the highest known figure for any country. As for the Philippines, according to Dr. Oscar Tinio (spokesman and former president of the Philippine Medical Association) Physicians comprise more than 1 in 10 of those who have been reported to have died of the coronavirus in the country.
Notwithstanding this data of “fallen medical frontliners” there are still other COVID-19 frontliners in the service industry (with the same commitment and involvement to serve those directly affected by this pandemic) who now share the company of our heavenly Father. As such let us HONOR their selflessness and heroism this UNDAS 2020 by offering them the holy sacrifice of the mass.
UNDAS 2020: PAG-ALALA, PANALANGIN, PAGKILALA: “Sa Ating Pag-alala sa mga Mahal Nating Yumao Na; Taimtim na Panalangin ang ialay natin sa kanila. At sa Panahong ito ng Pandemiya ay dapat din ang Pagkilala; Sa napayapang Frontliners na nag-handog ng buhay sa tuwina.” Magtungo sa Radio Veritas Website at Mag-alay Ng Pamisa sa Inyong mga Mahal sa Buhay at Mag-handog din kayo ng isang Electronic Mass Card Sa ating mga “Fallen Frontliners” Bilang pagkilala sa Kanilang Kabayanihan. Puntahan lamang ang webpage na www.veritas846.ph/undas2020 o tawagan si Bb. Renee Jose sa numerong 0915-5156417.
In remembering our dearly departed loved ones and “fallen frontliners” this All Saints and All Souls Day, our Gospel reading account of the Final Judgment (Mt 25:31-46) is a timely reminder of the “gauge” we are to be assessed when we too finally join them in the hereafter. Jesus tells us in clear language that not our words or our profession of faith, but our deeds matter in the final analysis.
The spirituality of death does not limit itself to a clean heart with lofty aspirations and deep insights of divine truths. I find it roots in the good deeds we do for others. Our strong spiritual bond with God must be manifested in our genuine concern for people’s physical needs. This is the reason why Jesus in the gospel symbolically characterized the people as sheep and goats. In purity a sheep’s wool can help withstand the coldness, selfishness and materialism of the world and keep a warm heart, while a goat’s pelt does not. The goats were sent to the left not because they sinned grievously, but because they were busy only with themselves, and did not notice the needs of others.
But as profound as this mandate would seem to be, these acts of kindness required by Christ does not in anyway contain gigantic acts of heroism or service. Even the smallest acts of giving (like sharing of a piece of candy, visiting a sick friend or a giving a smile to a disgruntled officemate) when done in the purity of one’s intention can heal even deepest wounds of the heart. Moreover, a genuine act of sharing comes from a certain spontaneity done without any ulterior motive. These are the acts of charity done without the benefit of gimmicks, propaganda, media mileage and recognition.
And though the Gospel image, which presents to us a very impressive enthronement scene of Jesus as king and judge of all nations; is an apocalyptic vision, every societal undertaking is likewise an invitation to exercise responsible judgment most especially in our choice of our leaders … it is an invitation to segregate those we consider as sheep and those we consider as goats. In justice, we should decide with finality that our government should never be handed-over to “goats” whose pelts have made them insensitive to the needs of the people. The good a leader does for the needy should not be for the sake of wooing support, but because they genuinely love them as persons and compatriots.
The Resurrection of Christ gives all the hope and certainty of life after death. “If we live united to Jesus, faithful to Him, we will be able to confront with hope and serenity even the passage of death. If our life has been a path with the Lord, of trust in his immense mercy, we will be prepared to accept the last moments of our earthly existence as the definitive trustful abandonment in his receiving hands, in awaiting to contemplate Him face to face.” (Pope Francis)
The task of maintaining both a “sheep-like image” and choosing a sheep among goats is arduous and sometimes a painstaking undertaking but it is our belief that our dearly beloved friends and family members, who now share in the company of heavenly Father, will guide and help us in this journey. And, if we do not want to tarnish the democracy our departed loved ones have fought for, then it is only rightful to do our part in making all our social, political and economic engagements truly meaningful. To all of them we pray … “ETERNAL Rest be granted unto their souls O Lord. And, may your perpetual light shine upon them. May they rest in peace, AMEN”.
DEDICATION: I personally offer this article to my dearly beloved loved ones, who I know guide me in my day to day struggles in life … (+) Rex, Carmencita, Apolonio, Belen, Roland, Maribel and Tom.
For any personal comments or suggestions, you may call 0917-4805585 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.