KOTA KINABALU – “Whether we realize it or not, we are blind in many ways. We may not be physically blind but spiritually we are,” underscored Fr Russell Lawrine during the Mass Mar 22 that was livestreamed from Sacred Heart Cathedral here.
He listed all the natural disasters that have happened since last year, from the Amazon wildfires to the Australian bushfires, and now to the global COVID-19 pandemic which, without discrimination, locks down the global community affecting the homes of millions, and requiring the practice of social distancing in order to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Referring to the Gospel of the fourth Sunday of Lent where God healed a blind man, Fr Lawrine reflected on the past and current events as perhaps a way of God opening up our spiritual blindness.
In what ways are we blind, asked the assistant priest.
“We may be blind to appreciate our families, our friends and loved ones – we are blind to their presence. But now that we are separated from them (due to social distancing), we keenly feel their absence.
“We may be blind to obey God’s commandments and His will, and rather follow our own will. We may be blind right now to abide the law imposed by the authorities on Movement Control Order. Not only is this attitude harming us but it also harm others.
“The commandments and regulations given us by God and the authorities are ways for us to care and to love our own selves and the people close to us.
“We may be also blind to appreciate the creations of God, it may be due to greed and selfishness,” suggested Fr Lawrine.
However, Fr Lawrine assured the faithful, the Gospel is Good News; do not be afraid of your spiritual blindness, but trust in God’s mercy.
“Do not be afraid or worry because God is assuring us in the Gospel that He wants to, and He can, heal our blindness. But He can only do so if we allow His Holy Spirit to work in us.
“It all depends on our willingness to allow Him to come and heal us; and only then can we live our normal lives again, only then can we celebrate Mass as usual in the Church, and work as usual, and go out freely as usual,” asserted Fr Lawrine.
Since the launching of the Movement Control Order from Mar 18-31, the Malaysian Catholic Church has been holding live broadcast of Sunday Masses and Feast Day Masses in the various languages through the internet for God’s people. – Linda Edward