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Apr 07, 2020 2015 0 Cyril Abraham
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The virus that paralysed the world

The coronavirus is indeed causing havoc in the world today; but is there a virus deadlier than this?

As I write this, almost the whole world is in the grips of the virus that has paralysed mankind. Who would have thought that in this age of advanced technology, with daily scientific discoveries, we could be taken by surprise? Or that, while mankind has ventured to nearby planets, our plans for our lives and our future together on earth could be so dampened that we will be forced to live an inferior lifestyle, very different to what we are used to?

2020 has barely begun, but Australia (where I live) has already suffered several disastrous events, culminating in the current crisis. The year began with catastrophic bushfires which burned massive tracts of land, killed numerous people and animals and destroyed many, many homes and properties. Smoke darkened our skies, intruded into our homes and even interfered with sporting fixtures. Just as we were starting to recover from that, extensive storms and heavy rain struck, pelting some places with huge hailstones and causing flash floods.  Just when we thought we can now move on; the Coronavirus has invaded our lives. Now, we are all enduring the stifling restrictions which are crippling our economies, our communities, our education and our access to the sacraments. Mankind is afraid and though many still show a brave face, we are all aware that some of us may not see tomorrow.

Currently much of the world is in a war-like situation. Some people are fighting for toilet rolls, stockpiling food for months and cutting off all physical contact. All public places except essential services are closed and New York – the centre of international business – is now under the supervision of the National guard. This is an extraordinarily difficult time for leaders of all nations as they venture into uncharted territories. A few of them have even contracted the virus themselves.

The virus, and all the restrictions it has caused, can only damage us physically and psychologically. Scripture teaches us that the body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, so we must protect and care for it, but Jesus reminded us not to fear what can only kill the body. Our souls are invaluable in God’s sight and it lives forever. Jesus came into a world focused on the physical life and material things to show us that the spiritual life is more important than anything else. The flesh must pass away, but the soul will live on eternally.

The real virus that has paralysed mankind today is SIN. No other virus has ever caused greater damage than the virus of SIN that has crippled and degenerated us so much that many are already living dead, empty lives, fulfilling no other purpose than to entertain themselves. Sin has distanced us from God, darkened our minds, hardened our hearts, dulled our ears, blinded our eyes and sickened our souls.  This is far more terrible than being unable to move around freely doing what we like. We could face an eternity separated from all that is good, unless we change our ways.

Jesus took up the burden of sins of all mankind and died for all of us, so we could live with Him forever.  So, we need not fear death if we accept His salvation and follow Him daily. We will all die one day and because of our hope in Jesus, we can rejoice as death approaches.

So if you are a Christian, this is the time to showcase our faith, to be fearless, trusting in the life that Jesus has already offered and prepared for us. This is the time as the church teaches, to receive spiritual communion. The heart of a Christian would be full of joy in this time since nothing can separate us from the love of Christ. And any sickness especially leading to death is a time of great rejoicing for such a person.  As St Paul says, “For to me to live is Christ and to die is gain” Philippians 1:21. We must now, without fail, pray for mercy and forgiveness on behalf of our brothers and sisters who do not know Him and haven’t accepted HIM as their Lord and Saviour and are unaware of the joy of that relationship. We must also do whatever is possible to help those around us as inspired by the Holy Spirit.

For those who only follow a tradition by going to church every Sunday and do not really share a relationship with God, this is your time to look deep within your heart where Christ awaits you. This is where HE always desired to meet you. Instead of filling the free time with empty things during this shutdown, seize the opportunity to spend time in silence, read the Bible and allow HIS word to take flesh in your life. There is no better time than this to forgive and to ask forgiveness from those whom we have offended.

For those who are still following other man-made religions/ways of life (receiving some sort of temporal satisfaction), Jesus declares that HE is the truth, the way and the life. This means that if you are really searching for the truth, all roads will lead you to Jesus Christ alone. Are you searching for the truth or are you settling for breadcrumbs falling off the table?

For those who are depending only on their good works or those who are following nothing at all, this is your time to reflect on your inner life and give your souls and hearts to Jesus and be saved. “Taste and see that the Lord is good” Psalm 34:8.

Let’s prepare ourselves for our last day that will come at an hour we do not expect. It may be when Jesus will return in glory to gather all those who love and follow Him. Or it may be at any moment before that.

Chris Hadfield, the first Canadian to walk in space states that astronauts do not go into space with their fingers crossed and that the more you know, the less you fear. In other words, the less you know, the more you fear. I encourage you to know Jesus Christ, the Son of God, for to know him is to know the truth (John 8:32) and to have eternal life (John 17:3).  Let us recognise that the real virus that afflicts us is Sin.  Let us allow Jesus to take over our lives, deliver us from sin and lead us to eternal life.

Cyril Abraham

encountered Jesus Christ at a cafe in 2002 and has since been blessed to serve in God's vineyard in different capacities. Husband to his beautiful wife, Raifiel and father to two angels, Zakar and Zane (now in heaven), he currently lives and works in Canberra, Australia.

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