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Still a disciple, lockdown or no lockdown

TEMPTATIONS abound as we strive valiantly to manage the third phase of the MCO (Apr 15-28). With more stringent restrictions imposed, stress and agitation mount, tolerance drops and despair sinks rapidly.

It gets harder to set a consistently high moral standard and to live a Christian virtuous life being stuck together in the home as the prospect of a longer MCO looms larger than life itself. The reins for holding down tempers get shorter by the days.

Alarm bells ring when the writer begins to think why bother to get up for morning Mass – after all it is only good for Spiritual Communion.

Archbishop John Wong in a timely reminder through his recent pastoral letter maintained that the Lord has not left us suffering without a blessing, and if we have eyes to see…we will have reason enough to be thankful to God.

In a bid to convict a sinner, the Lord spoke this morning (Apr 17), through his servant parish priest of Holy Family Catholic Church at Doveton, Australia, that we are “still a disciple, lockdown or no lockdown”!

The relevance of Vincentian Father Michael Payyapilly’s preaching gave much food for thought and helped the writer to reconsider her track, so as to finish the MCO race and keep the faith.

He referred to Peter in the Gospel of John, who threw off his cloak and went back to fishing while feeling the loss of not knowing what to do after the crucifixion of Jesus, and cautioned the viewers of the online Mass to “be careful and don’t throw off the cloak of discipleship”.

The Vincentian priest emphasized “We are still a disciple during lockdown in spite of the frustration and not knowing what the future holds.”

“Though we cannot be physically be present for the Sacraments, cannot go to Church, cannot go to Confession, have the tendency to feel lost, and don’t know what to do, we must be careful not to take off our cloak of discipleship, fold it and put aside, and go on to other things, and expect to come back to the Lord when the time of normalcy returns” warned the preacher.

He pointed out that Peter, in order to come back to the Lord and face Him, has to put back his cloak.

To keep the cloak of discipleship, Fr Payyapilly said that we have to find ways all the time, reminding ourselves today, tomorrow, lockdown or no lockdown that we are still a disciple who needs to find new ways to pray, to find time to pray, to find the zeal to pray, to find the call to discipleship and to nurture it.

Though we might not have the Church physically with us to nurture our call to discipleship, we are certain that we have been called to discipleship and we are not meant to keep it aside; rather we are to find new ways to nurture our call to our discipleship. – AC

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