December 3, 2022
Mt. 9:35- – 10:1. 5a. 6-8
“…When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were troubled and abandoned, like sheep without a shepherd….”
In the middle of March 2020, the lockdown was imposed by the Philippine Government in response to the crisis brought about by Covid-19 pandemic; borders were closed, no flights, checkpoints were set up, medical teams were disposed to every place where possible victims of the virus are brought, men in uniforms were in triple alert, and Churches were closed. A few days after the lockdown, the scenario was scary. People were anguished, nervous, and in the process of depression knowing that the government, especially the health department was caught up unprepared.
My parish was not excluded from that condition but the situation made us think about what to do and how we could help the government as citizens and as a Church.
The Our Lady Star of the Sea Parish, Tukuran, Zamboanga del Sur, belonging to the Diocese of Pagadian, is composed of 52 chapels and 12 of which can only be reached by foot. We created a team: a priest, a nun belonging to the missionary sisters of St. Therese of the Child Jesus 2 lay volunteers, we climbed mountains and crossed rivers to visit all the parishioners in the chapels. Our mission was to help the government educate people about the virus, to bring hope to the people with regard to the depressing conditions, to make them feel that the Church is journeying with them, and most of all to bring the healing presence of Christ in their hearts.
After visiting the 52 chapels, we felt a boost in the morale of our front liners. Daily, we visited checkpoints and brought food for them. Making them feel the presence of the Church is always there caring and praying for their safety. We bring hope, we bring Christ.
At the end of the day, the team felt so blessed, thanking the Good Shepherd for giving us the courage to do such an act amid the danger of getting contaminated by the virus. Jesus was and will always be compassionate to all who felt lost, down, and helpless.
If Christ is with us, the Good Shepherd, we are sure that all will be well. Christ called us to participate in his mission, to answer his call to be shepherds, especially in this challenging time…” therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”
In your challenging moments, have you felt being abandoned like sheep without a shepherd? How have you responded?
Reflect and think of ways you can help “send more laborers to the harvest.”