MIRI: Christians must reach out to help lighten the suffering of all those hit by the Covid-19 pandemic, says head of the Miri Catholic Diocese, Bishop Richard Ng.
In his Good Friday message to the 90,000 Catholics in the Miri Diocese, he said it is vital to extend our time, financial and material resources and personal presence to help everyone who is suffering due to the outbreak, regardless of their race and religion.
“Being caring and charitable, as reflected by the life of Jesus Christ, is what Christians should emulate.
“Good Christians make good citizens, ” he said Friday (April 10).
Christians throughout the country are commemorating Good Friday in a solemn atmosphere made even more profound by the restrictions on mass gatherings.
The Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in churches everywhere having to celebrate mass without the usual crowd of parishioners.
Bishop Ng said though the pandemic has resulted in a lot of hardship and suffering, it presents a time for everyone to ponder and reflect on life, and more importantly to renew their relationship with God, their families and their loved ones.
“Good Friday marks the crucifixion and death of Jesus Christ. It is a day of sorrow and atonement for sins.
“This suffering will culminate in Easter Sunday where we celebrate the resurrection of Christ.
“During this Covid-19 outbreak, we cannot gather for Good Friday as a big crowd.
“We do live-streaming of our mass via social media ... this actually presents an opportunity for parishioners to have a closer personal reflection with God in their homes and turn to God for help, and to family and loved ones for solace.
“The harsh time we are going through can be a time for reconciliation and renewal.
“There are many out there who are disabled, home-bound, homeless, lonely, isolated, and those who have run out of cash and food.
“Reach out and help all the needy regardless of race and religion, ” said Bishop Ng.
Miri Catholic parishioners are distributed over 11 urban and rural parishes in a land area one-third the size of Sarawak.
Good Friday is a public holiday in Sarawak, as well as Sabah.
Bishop Ng and the priests are celebrating mass in their private chapels but this would be broadcast via social media.
The government's movement control order that bars mass gatherings is part of its intensive effort to stop the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Sarawak has recorded 13 deaths and more than 300 infections so far.
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