Last week Pope Francis reminded us that 3.7 million people died from the effects of hunger in the first four months of this year (he cited official statistics).
He reminded us that this is also a ‘pandemic’, as is war, lack of educational opportunities for children, etc. He had invited all people to have a day of prayer and fasting on the 14th of May for the Corona Virus pandemic. He quoted the story of Jonah who was sent to Nineveh, a pagan city, to preach repentance, and these people fasted and prayed.
Anticipating what some would say, he made clear, that asking all, not just Christians, to pray was not ‘religious relativism’.
God loves all God’s children!
Yes, of course our faith in Jesus is in no way diminished by joining in love with all. In fact, this is precisely what Jesus wants us to do.
Yes, it does matter very much what we believe, but we also know that the Holy Spirit blows where the Holy Spirit wants.
We are united in humanity as brothers and sisters.
Everyone prays to God as they know how, as they can. God looks at the heart of a person. This does not mean that everyone can be better off by knowing Jesus!
While there is an immediate urgency in dealing with the Corona Virus pandemic, we must not ignore that people are dying of hunger now! There are other urgent matters such as the environment! People are dying in war, now!
Those who are safe in this time of the Corona Virus pandemic must not forget those who are more greatly affected. Of course it is important not be overwhelmed by all these challenges.
Our prayer, our joining our love with God’s love, and sending these prayers together with the prayer of Jesus, unleashes a deep spiritual energy of love.
So, we must stay calm but vigilant, with our feet down to earth while we lift our hearts to God. Through Christ we are connected to all people on earth. He loves them all, God loves them all.
So it is good to remember that we find ourselves when we give ourselves! When we truly love, we know and meet God.
God Bless you today.
Bishop of Darwin