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Facing Calamities Together

Amidst an upsurge of COVID-19 cases, many people are venting their frustration and crying out to God. In these times, we need true servant leadership. In his recent visit to war-torn Iraq, Pope Francis urged citizens to work harmoniously so as to overcome the calamities facing the world.

President Duterte has extended a national state of calamity until Sept.12, 2021. Such a declaration allows the Government to allot appropriate funds to manage the effects of the pandemic in the country. 

It might sound good, but in reality, even with the efforts of the Government, we have seen how the number of COVID cases has risen with the rapid spread of the more contagious strains. Social media has been flooding with frustration as Covid victims have been turning into familiar faces.

Many people have sighed out loud on their Facebook timelines, “Until when, Lord? Have we not prayed enough? What else do you want us to learn?” We are free to express our anxieties to God in prayer, but perhaps it is worth reflecting on the last question. 

We have our personal accountability to God regarding living according to His Plan for us, and sometimes even if we know that His Will is best, we struggle to embrace our sufferings, and He understands that. 

But this must not prevent us from responsibly helping each other and solving our problems together. We are grateful to genuine servant leaders who are striving to effectively steer the country’s wheel to keep our boat from sinking so that we can bravely survive this prolonged calamity. Leaders need to sow unity and harness the gifts of every citizen, particularly the experts in their own field. 

Practicing true servant leadership is not just for our political heads, but for our families, the private sector, the Church. I have personally seen individuals shining through this crisis, not because they are attention grabbers, but because they earnestly want everyone to come out stronger and better. 

Amid COVID-19 and the threat of man-made and natural calamities globally, we need to respond collectively to the call of St. Francis of Assisi, “Make me a channel of your peace.” 

One who exemplifies this is Pope Francis who made the first-ever visit of a Pontiff to a country which holds great significance in the Bible, but has been inaccessible for many years due to wars. 

Despite the pandemic, his health challenges and the risks involved, he pursued this with great determination and proclaimed, “May the clash of arms be silenced... may there be an end to acts of violence and extremism, factions and intolerance!” He urges us to work harmoniously, so that together, we can overcome the numerous calamities facing our world today. 

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