By Christina Hermoso
Mindful of the difficult situation faced by senior citizens in his diocese, Balanga Bishop Ruperto C. Santos wrote a letter to them and urged them to remain safe at home and view their situation as a sign of God’s mercy and an opportunity to set an example for the young.
Titled, “Safe, Sign of God’s Mercy, and Setting Good Examples,” Santos reminded senior citizens “to stay at home and join the Holy Mass through live streaming.”
“I know how and what you feel. You want to be physically present, to attend and to commune, not just to watch virtually nor from a distance. But here we are, separated by the dangerous and devastating threat of the coronavirus,” the bishop said in his letter.
Santos reminded senior churchgoers that staying at home is for their own welfare and safety.
“It is for the safety of all. To stay at home is to make us safe from being contaminated or get someone contaminated. Coronavirus is an enemy that we cannot see. It thrives and hides in the crowd. We all have become the unknowing and unwilling prey of this virus. Coronavirus does not choose who to infect. It is not selective. No one is exempted and we, the senior citizens, are the most prone and vulnerable to this,” the prelate said.
“So, we have to be safe. Stay away from the crowd and avoid congested places. It is safer to stay and remain at home. It is for our safety, our refuge, and our first line of defense from this COVID-19. Isn’t it a blessing to have a home and be at home? Isn’t it the most gratifying experience to spend time at home with those who are dear and near to our hearts?” Santos said.
“God understands our situation and accepts our predicaments. He sympathizes with us. He always does something for our own good and safety. With God’s love and mercy, He excuses us from attending the Sunday Holy Masses. God, in His goodness and love, abstains us from fulfilling our Sunday obligations. To our God, what matters is our safety. He wants us to live soundly and healthy,” Santos said.
“God always provides ways and means for us. At present, He is using the Holy Mass’ live streaming to reach us, be near us, and be in spiritual communion with Him. God is never distant from us. He has turned our home into His dwelling place and makes Himself very much a part and member of our household,” he added.
The bishop said seniors are also setting a good example to the younger generation by staying at home.
“Staying at home is setting a good example not only to our children but especially to our grandchildren. We do not only give orders, but we also follow them. We set rules and observe them as well. We, too, are obedient. We submit ourselves and give due respect to authorities,” Santos said.
“Our dearest senior churchgoers, patience is your most lived virtue. You have been patient as you reared and nursed us in our early childhood. Now with this directive to stay at home, your patience is being asked from you. Let us be patient once more. With God’s power and manifesting glory, this pandemic will surely come to pass. God will grant the necessary cure. He will help us. Our almighty God will bring us healing. We are thankful to God in the Holy Eucharist that through Him and with Him, we are safe. We are alive. We will surpass. We will survive,” Santos said.