These are the most repeated words these days. The fear about Covid-19 has reached such levels that we started viewing every other person as threat, all in the vain hope that avoiding contact with others will save us from the Corona Virus. Governments across the globe have run out of options to fight Covid-19 the normal way. For them, social distancing is the one and only option.
I am not competent to judge about the efficacy of social distancing in containing the spread of the virus. It is for the civil authorities to tell us how much effective this distancing therapy was. I would rather like to tell you some other results of this ‘distance yourself’ slogan.
When a scribe asked Jesus which commandment was the first of all, Jesus replied; “The first is, ‘Here, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one; you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength’. The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself’. There is no other commandment greater than these” ( Mark 12: 29-31).
Jesus made it easy to obey the commandments by reducing its numbers from ten to two! Give the God the first and foremost place in your life and love your neighbour as yourself. Obeying these two simple rules tantamount to obeying all the ten commandments. Needless to say, breaking these rules means breaking the ten commandments given through Moses.
This simplification of commandments was meant for us mortals. But unfortunately, Satan too knows it. Now he need not persuade or coax the humans for breaking each of the ten commandments. Instead what he needs to do is concentrate on these two points. We are not ignorant about his devious plans to make us commit sin. He gets it done in a systematic way. First a flash of thought, a look or a word, then the temptation, then minor offences and venial sins finally culminating in grave and mortal sins. By the time somebody is in mortal sin, the devil applies his most trusted weapon: injecting into your brain, the falsity that God despises sinners and since you are a sinner you cannot find favor with God. Lucky are those who could see through the game plan of the devil and return to the Lord with a truly repentant heart.
It seems, nowadays the devil is very happy, because without much effort he can make people break the two golden rules prescribed by Jesus. Covid-19 was the apt time he was waiting for when in a single stroke he could distance man from God and also from neighbour. Killing two birds in one stone should make him really happy. We know the spiritual results of social distancing. Churches and places of worship were the first to be closed to ensure social distancing. Needless to say, they were the last to be opened in the process of unlocking. In between, three months was sufficient for many to slip into a kind of spiritual vacuum, where God was dethroned from their hearts. Instead the philosophies of this world occupied God’s place. That is why we prefer physical remedies to spiritual diseases. That is why we believe that the consecrated Hosts can transmit the virus. That is why we are so foolish to think that a virus which will not be transmitted through public markets, vehicles, liquor shops, beaches or parks will be transmitted through the consecrated hands of a priest.
The most subtle manifestation of our love towards God is worshipping Him. Covid-19 effectively put a barrier between us and our God as far as worship is concerned. This is the first time in Christian history that people were sceptical about the effects of prayer and worship in times of calamity. Distancing man from God, which has been a long cherished dream of Satan, who is liar and father of all lies, is being accomplished before our own eyes. I am not telling about the millions of Christians who have grown strong in faith during the pandemic. Blessed are they and blessed be they.
Social distancing implies keeping a safe (?) distance from your brother. Well, it is a good tool to contain the spread of the disease. But unfortunately, it has gone beyond that. If the fear of Covid-19 has reached such a level as to branding anybody with a simple cough and fever as a Covid patient or instigating a community to treat the dead bodies of Covid victims in the most inhuman ways or prompting the caretakers to desert old age homes and rehabilitation centres leaving their inmates to sure death, understand that this pandemic has turned us blind towards our neighbour. Satan will be happier, because the second golden rule too is broken. Do you hear the resonances of an old question; ” Am I my brother’s keeper?”( Genesis 4:9).
Where are we heading to? No doubt, we are entering into the brave new world where any mention about the God is redundant and everything is human-centric. When we say ‘human-centric’, understand human as yourself. You live for yourself. Forget the God and forget your neighbour. This has been the philosophy being propagated by the global elite for quite some time. This has been the underlying theme of every new age and occult philosophies. They seem to win, at least for the time being.
But we know, the ultimate winner will be none but Jesus Christ. Till then serve the Lord and persevere amid the raging influx of falsities intentionally spread by the devil to distance us from our God as well as our neighbour.