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What challenges us now is how to enthuse our people to return to Mass when the restrictions are lifted completely, Catholic Bishop

Disaster hit me at about 7:00 pm. I was just preparing my meal and the lights went out. I said, it is only for a few minutes as it usually is. I waited and waited in vain. Using electric stove has its challenges. With no power, you cannot cook, nor make a cup of tea nor have a warm bath this winter. No power means no internet too. In the end, I went to bed at about 10:30 in the dark. They must have had some major fault with the grid.

The novel coronavirus has put fear in the lives and hearts of people. Governments declared a state of emergency and took on extra powers to be able to deal with the unprecedented attack on humanity. Over all, positive results have been observed leading to the partial or full reopening of economies and social activity in most parts of the world. The news from the WHO seem to indicate that there is an uptick of new infections with the Covid-19 in places where people refuse to observe the existing protocols.

When we were in lockdown, my people were longing to get back to church. One wrote to me saying, he misses the singing in church and could not wait to join the choir in praising God. Even though we are not fully back to normal, we are permitted to have 50 people attending Mass 4 times a week. This is a good start. At first, I was concerned about how to handle this expecting a surge in people coming to Mass at the first opportunity.

Reports reaching me indicate that most parishes are not getting up to the 50 people permitted at Mass. Is it due to the two months of staying at home, or the fact that Mass would be live-streamed from different parishes? I do not know. An element of fear and uncertainty cannot be ruled out at this stage. Others think that being just a few worshipers in a huge church building would be more than boring for them.

What challenges us now is how to enthuse our people to return to Mass when the restrictions are lifted completely. The drought is over, there is no need for famine any longer. We fasted when we had to, but the fast has to be broken and we can return to the Table of the Royal Majesty and enjoy what is served.

From reports reaching me, the phenomenon of people sitting at home seems to be widespread not only in Botswana. Physical distancing or not, we would follow the Lord and give him what is His due. I and my house would serve the Lord, just as I know that you and yours would do the same. Together then we are the body of Christ. The fact that the church would have to rethink how we do mission, evangelization and worship is itself trust in the guiding hand of the Lord through his Holy Spirit.

Visiting a family yesterday, I was delighted in seeing how the children of the house behaved well when they cooked their supper and ate. It was all a happy joyous event with each one wanting to know what happened at school or work.

They showed genuine concern for the welfare of each other. I sat there observing the young people and thought to myself, God must be smiling upon them. If this is the case, why do we find it difficult to live in community with other people? Sodalities, Church Groups are falling apart because some find it difficult to remain members if this or that is the leader. Why is it that we all want to be leaders at the same time? Shouldn’t we wait for those in office to serve their term and then we can put others in?

My pain is that instead of membership of a church group being a source of support of our faith, it has led others out of the church with very bitter minds and hearts. Fighting for positions and power should not be found in the house of the Lord. Healing should be sought for such people. Ours is not to condemn nor convive but to unite and foster growth of love.

A sad news coming from Cape Town indicates one Rev. Sister has died of Covid-19, another is in hospital, a Deacon will be buried on Saturday of the same cause. Meanwhile, three retired priests have tested Positive. The virus is getting closer home, let us kindly be careful and take the necessary precautions. Please raise the archdiocese of Cape Town in prayer to God.

Authored by Bishop Frank Nubuasah 

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