The Pastor Speaks …..
(Do) we pray and wait for the Lord’s blessings...?
The present scenario of the second wave of Covid-19 Virus in our country and across the nations is causing so much anxiety, uncertainty, and insecurity. But, the battle with this deadly pandemic is going on as there is always that “hope” lingering in the deeper crevices of human hearts that this can be overcome. Believers and non-believers alike are sustained by this hope, even in the most hopeless or worst situations. Can we or should we not help one another to keep instilling hope and optimism, especially at a time like this, time of the second wave of the Covid- 19 Pandemic? We can and we should reach out to one another with hope and in charity! Post Easter Season presents faith, hope and charity of the Apostles and the Apostolic Church:
Most Rev. Prakash Mallavarapu
Jesus Christ, who, we know, died and rose from the dead, is the source of sustenance in our life of faith! The Apostles and the rest of the small flock were almost on the verge of giving up after they witnessed the crucifixion and death of Jesus Christ. But, a reversal of their situation of doubts and uncertainties took place. Death is overcome in the Risen Christ, something that no human being could ever imagine. This experience of seeing Master again revived their faith and hope. With this experience confirmed in the anointing of Holy Spirit, they began to see life in a new perspective. No more afraid of the present ills and problems. They are now confident that they could cope with the help of the Lord: live with hope in spite of the difficulties that come on the way. In our present situation we are facing or confronted with two situations: first, the non-acceptance of our identity as believers in Christ with the same rights and privileges that the Constitution of India gives to all the citizens in the country; second, the fears and anxieties caused by the second wave of Covid-19 Corona Virus. Both the situations are real and we have to face and have to live with, doing the best that lies within our possibilities and capacities. We can neither ignore these real situations nor can we easily cope with them. Our Christian faith and hope should help us to live through these situations to withstand and overcome the obstacles not because faith and hope gives all the solutions to the issues and problems but because of the strength that comes through this faith and hope in God!
What is not possible for us we have to commend into the hands of God: We have to remain engaged in the day to day life, our duties and responsibilities, though not everything is within our control. Life is dynamic and it keeps moving forward. Instinctively we the humans feel as if this dynamic of life is within our control or we would keep trying to steer through in order to determine the direction of the life dynamic. To some extent only we can do something at a given time. Thanks to the genius in science and technology, humanity is a little better equipped than in the past decades to cope with life. But, there is the animate and inanimate world, often mysterious, mute and silent. It is beyond our normal human capacities. Groping in the dark and trying to do the best we can are the only options, with or without much success. But, as believers we can grope along with God and His grace accompanying us. We believe that we are not living by ourselves alone but because of God who is the giver of life and savior of life. With this faith we have to keep going on the journey of life doing the best possible and availing all the available resources or opportunities. Nothing is impossible for God and therefore, we have to accept what is not possible for us and in all humility we have to commend into the hands of God! This is the way our intercessory prayer should be. It has to be a surrender with hope into the hands of God!
The second wave of the Covid-19 Corona virus and the need to reach out to the victims:The situation is not only alarming but also too huge to handle. The health care providers, hospitals and clinics, medical and para-medical personnel are under tremendous pressure in dealing with second wave of Covid-19. Home care or hospital care, dependence and inter-dependence seem to be the way out. Family members and relatives of the family will have to come, both in the form of services and in the form of material or financial help as most families will find very difficult to face it alone! Isolating the Covid-19 victims or segregation, might be a safety measure but it can be very hurting. Some way of reaching out Covid-19 victim’s families is the need of the hour! All the necessary help cannot easily come from the government departments. We appreciate the hospitals, doctors, nurses, and the support staff as they are taking care of the patients risking their own health, and some are even hospitalized and died. When the situations are beyond their control, relatives and friends of the patients should still try to acknowledge their services. It is not just about finances and payments at the health centers but about human persons in the medical profession who are doing their best to fellow human beings that depend on their services! For us who are members of the community, Church, the life of sharing and caring of the Church of the Apostolic times should inspire and motivate us to reach out in a tangible way to those in need with love and concern. This has to be, perhaps, mobilized and organized in the localities or in the parishes! Single-handed only a little is possible but when collectively done more can be done, “five loaves and two fish” get multiplied!
Let us pray with faith and wait on the Lord for His interventions: “Is any one among you suffering? Let him pray. Is any cheerful? Let him sing praise. Is any among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord; and the prayer of faith will save the sick man, and Lord will raise him up, and if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to one another, and pray for another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man has great power in its effects. Elijah was a man of like nature with ourselves and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth. Then he prayed again and the heavens gave rain, and the earth brought forth its fruit” (James 5:13-18).
† Prakash Mallavarapu, Archbishop of Visakhapatnam