By Chito Chavez
As the nation celebrates the Lenten Season, Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año on April 10, Good Friday, urged the public to pray for God’s protection and guidance as the world is faced with the daunting and formidable challenge posed by the novel coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) crisis.
As this year’s Lenten Season is cast in a different light, Año said being compelled to observe the religious practice at home to prevent the spread of the various should not prevent us from praying for God’s “special protection and guidance for our frontline workers who are risking their safety, health, and their very lives to tend to the sick, maintain law, and ensure that food reaches our communities.”
He noted this is also a time for us to show our gratitude to God and reflect on how everyone can be part of the solution and “what we can do, in our own little ways, to help the frontliners and the government alleviate the plight of those who are most affected by COVID-19.”
“The DILG joins the entire Christian community in the commemoration of the life, sacrifices, and holiness of Jesus Christ in this Lenten Season amid the COVID-19 public health emergency,” Año said.
The DILG chief also asked the Christian faithful to seek God’s blessings “for our national and local government officials, especially our punong barangays, that they may address this crisis with urgency, wisdom, and compassion in the service of the people.”
“And most importantly, let us pray for our countrymen who are afflicted with COVID-19. Ipanalangin po natin na kanilang malagpasan ang hamon na ito at ang kanilang lubusang paggaling (Let us pray that they overcome this challenge, let us pray for their full recovery),” he added.
Amid this overwhelming ordeal, Año expressed confidence that the distinct faith, indomitable devotion of a nation that has weathered countless disasters with vigilance and with prayer as their weapon will help the Filipinos rise from this turmoil.
“We are an Easter people. Let us continue to have faith that this too shall pass as we look forward to a new beginning with renewed dedication, love, and commitment for our country and our people,” Año concluded.