Lockdown and countdown, honor and dishonor in COVID-19

40 Shades of Lent, Wednesday, Solemnity of the Annunciation, 25 March 2020

Isaiah 7:10-14; 8:10 +++ Hebrews 10:4-10 +++ Luke 1:26-38

Mosaic of the Annunciation to Mary at San Giovanni Rotondo Church, Italy. Photo by Arch. Philip Santiago, 2019.

Glory and praise to you, O God our Father as we celebrate today the Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Birth of Jesus Christ to Mary. What a celebration so appropriate in this time of COVID-19 amid the ongoing lockdown not only in our country but in many parts of the world.

You know how I am not into any countdown whatsoever, Lord; in fact, I do not even keep tabs of how many days we have been locked down except that I really miss my parishioners, the normal grind of each day.

But as I prayed on this Solemnity, the first thing that I realized is that we are nine months from Christmas!

Jesus is coming, Jesus has come, Jesus is never gone — especially in this lockdown!

Photo by Ms. Ria De Vera during our procession of the Blessed Sacrament in our Parish, 22 March 2020.

What an honor and grace, O Lord, that despite our sinfulness and failures, you continue to offer us salvation, of starting all over again, of picking up the pieces of our lives, of hoping for that great day when all these lockdown and pandemic are gone.

We pray for all the health workers who sacrifice their very lives in saving the sick and all the other unsung heroes who do their share in helping us unburden the heavy crosses we are carrying following COVID-19’s wrath.

Thank you for the many among us who have opened like Mary to receive Jesus and share Jesus in these trying times.

But we also pray, O Lord, for those many of us who remain closed and cold to you and to others.

The people who continue to ignore “social distancing” and those who have remained spiritually and emotionally distant from family members, friends, and neighbors.

We pray most especially for our officials in the government who continue to bring more shame and dishonor to themselves to the detriment of the people.

The leaders who think more of themselves, who regard themselves as more important than others. The modern “King Ahaz” of our time who rely more on their own power, on their alliances with their foreign and local lords and masters.

Have mercy on them, Lord.

Come quickly and save us.

Open our hearts, teach us humility to be able to say to you like Mary, “Be it done unto me according to your word.” Amen.

Photo by author of the site where Mary received the Good News of Christ’s coming from Archangel Gabriel beneath the Basilica of the Annunciation, Nazareth, 2019.

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