Latte with Jesus, has he left the scene?

This first series of online forums, organised by Community Action Network Malaysia (CAN), was streamed via Facebook Live during the present Movement Control Order (MCO).

May 31, 2020

KUALA LUMPUR: This first series of online forums, organised by Community Action Network Malaysia (CAN), was streamed via Facebook Live during the present  Movement Control Order (MCO).

The forum moderator, Kevin de Rozario of CAN spoke on the challenges of faith and spirituality during the MCO.  He acknowledged that the reality now is a very challenging time. The government’s initiative to control the spread of the COVID-19 virus in Malaysia through the MCO has resulted in an economic downturn. The spillover effect has been the shuttering of businesses and in turn the loss of jobs and financial security. Religious organisations have also been affected with no religious activities allowed in temples, churches and mosques.

The  two guest speakers were Fr Patrick Massang CsSR (Church of Our Mother of Perpetual Help, Ipoh) and Pastor Scott Egbert (Kingdomcity Church, Kuala Lumpur).

Viewers shared, live on Facebook, their anxiety about their inability to celebrate Mass / Sunday services and partake in any community based spiritual activities. Was this a crisis of faith, a sense of hopelessness and helplessness, questioning why God has allowed this to happen to us? Is He listening to our fervent prayers? Or is this a test of our faith that God will deliver us from hardships as so promised  by Jesus in the Gospels?

There was an overwhelming sense of need to find ways to sustain faith at home and handle the psychological effects of being alone.

“God is present in our lives and He has not abandoned us”, was the emphatic reminder by Fr Patrick. He explained that God’s presence is felt through the work of the brave doctors and nurses treating COVID-19 patients, through the volunteers feeding the homeless and through the people providing basic services for us to continue our lives, during the MCO.

Pastor Scott added “we should use the time at  home to focus on our spirituality, to strengthen family bonds, and for positive contemplation”. This new spiritual paradigm, he said, where we participate in online Masses or services and join online faith gatherings brings us together as a faith community. He also calls on everyone to remain connected with one another via phone calls and to keep socially active via video conference calls with friends and family.

The assurance from both speakers that we will persevere through this difficult time, through God’s Grace, was a beautiful end to the discussion.

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