The Covid-19 pandemic has affected every corner of the world. It has a negative impact on individuals, many aspects of our life, even overall society. Life seems to stop. Social distancing is all we can do — isolate yourself, isolate society, isolate countries. Everyone has to wear “face mask”. In effect, people could not look at each other, talk to each other, to the point that people are even afraid of getting physically close to one another.
The Covid-19 pandemic has practically stopped all activities; no events or gatherings in public places, no reunions, playdates, visits... This can be the reason why people make violence in some countries. This pandemic is the result of evil and sinful choices. It seems that evil can divide good relationships, such as between this country and that country, parents and children… It has even spoiled the communion of the Church.
In this situation, the religious of the Blessed Sacrament have to isolate or enforce social distancing. However, this time is really a precious gift. The SSS religious take advantage to study, pray, communicate with each other and make self-sacrifices.
These deeds gave them the fruit of the Holy Spirit. On the feast day of St. Peter Julian Eymard, the founder of the Blessed Sacrament Congregation, on 2nd August 2020, our Province has the following:
- 14 candidates joined the Postulancy,
- 15 candidates entered the Novitiate,
- 10 candidates made their First Vows, and
- 9 brothers made their Final Vows.
It is a great joy for our Province! This success is never an accident. It is the fruit of the efforts of the provincial superior and the fathers who are in charge of formation. They have helped the candidates to concentrate on many aspects, such as knowledge, moral virtue, spirituality, mission, physical education…
Especially, the candidates have saved time to improve themselves and the congregation. It is similar to saint Paul’s realization in his letter: “We know that all things work for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.” (Rm 8,28)
The Covid-19 pandemic is the sign of the time. It has caused sickness and death. Each person is called to become a generous doctor in order to heal the sorrowful among our brothers and sisters. In this situation, every SSS religious is called to become an apostle of the Eucharist; they themselves preach the love of Jesus in the Eucharist - that is the rite of the reconciliation for humanity.
Following in the footsteps of Father Eymard, our mission is to respond to the hungers of the human family with the riches of God’s love manifested in the Eucharist. Drawing life from the bread given for the life of the world, we proclaim in the thanksgiving prayer the Passover of Christ, and we welcome the Lord Jesus in his Eucharistic presence by a prolonged prayer of adoration and contemplation. Formed by the Sacrament of the New Covenant, which frees us from the domination of sin, we commit ourselves to building up the Body of Christ. (RL no. 3)
The Covid-19 pandemic seems to be negative but, in this situation, God has called us to re-create a new life through specific deeds. We are called to cooperate together with the power of the Eucharist in order to overcome an epidemic. If we really desire God and devote our lives to the Eucharist, the COVID-19 pandemic will become a time of grace.
Father Martin Aug Bui Van Hoang Phuc, sss