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Restriction of movement, a Lenten gift

KOTA KINABALU (CS) – Catholics are challenged to look at the implementation of the “Movement Control Order” as an amazing Lenten gift.

The tall order came from none other than the rector of St Simon’s Catholic Church, Likas, Fr Cosmas Lee, as he penned his second pastoral message to parishioners in these COVID-19 days.

The whole nation has been put on a restricted movement order (a partial lockdown) Mar 18 until Mar 31 by the Government in a bid to curb the rising number of positive COVID-19 cases in the country.

Challenging the people of God to look at the restriction positively, Fr Lee maintained that, unlike Martha, we will learn more easily that there are very few things that are really needed and only one thing that is necessary when we are by law stopped from doing a hundred things.

“Given the real threat of COVID-19 and our positive response to prevent its spread,” underlined the rector, “there is a better chance we can hear and see Lenten catecheses better.”

If we could see the restriction of movement as an ‘amazing Lenten gift’, Fr Lee wrote that we could

  • improve on the essential in quiet and prayer;
  • learn that we do not live on bread alone and do not test God or worship wealth, power, and pleasures (1st Sunday of Lent, Mt 4:1-11);
  • follow the Lord to climb assiduously and ascend the Mountain of our Transfiguration (2nd Sunday of Lent, Mt 17:1-9);
  • drink Christ deeply, who is our living water that is offered freely to everyone by a thirsty Jesus, without judging anyone even those worse than the Samaritan woman (3rd Sunday of Lent, Jn 4:5-42);
  • admit and submit humbly that we are born blind and need divine power to be enlightened to see (4th Sunday of Lent, Jn 9:1-41); and
  • allow ourselves to die like Lazarus precisely to show the glory of God when He raises us up from the dead (5th Sunday of Lent, Jn 11:1-45).

He believed fervently that these COVID-19 days provide better than a hundred homilies and Sunday School classes in routine times when our ears and heart are engaged on just getting through the motion and be finished with it, on automatic drive, .

Fr Lee concluded that if we could say and mean it in these COVID-19 days, that “God is good, all the time”, we actually make a true Act of Faith, and an Act of Hope, both of which will help drive us to acts of charity. – AC @ Catholic Sabah

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