KEP CITY -- This year of difficult situations around the world because covid19's pandemic, has made that all liturgical celebrations relayed in more Faith and hope. Many times we pray for the peace of the world, but this year we are praying for the health of the world. In the northern hemisphere, from Europe to North America this winter, the virus seems to be getting more power. In Cambodia, a country that has been successfully prevented from much contamination, we are passing at this moment through an alert that made the schools close for 15 days.
Heading to the end of this year 2020, the year of the pandemic, makes us think with uncertainty on the year to come. Would it be 2021 the second year of the pandemic? Are we going to talk in the near future of the pandemic’s years? Hopefully, we hope to see 2021 as the year of the vaccines and the renaissance after this serious global crisis to the urban society.
The Feast of Mary Immaculate is a great opportunity to turn to our Catholic Faith and discover the hope that is based in God the Almighty. We are used to big gatherings to celebrate the feasts of Virgin Mary and we entrust ourselves and our communities to the help of the Most Holy Mother of Jesus. With the pandemic, big gatherings became history and good remembrances. Now we are invited to pay honour to the Lord through a procession of silence and deep interiority. In these difficult moments, the teaching of our Lord is most valid:
But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you (Mathew 6: 6.)
Living the pandemic time in a country like Cambodia, in the heart of the mission ad gentes, we join with our siblings of other religions, especially Buddhist, to pray together. After all, the pandemic itself has shown to us that we belong to a single humanity. The virus has entered all the countries of the Earth, all cultures, traditions, religions, races and social groups to put in evidence that we all come from the same Mother Eva.
Here in Cambodia, our celebrations never were of great gatherings, because Catholics belong to a special minority of about 30 thousand faithfull in a country of 16 million. From the simplicity of our liturgies, we bless all humanity, we bless Mother Earth and we bless also the virus that is a creature of God after all, to allow health to the world.
As Catholics, we venerate the Most Holy Mother as the Immaculate Conception. In modern terms, we could say the most clean, the most hygienic, the most healthy Virgin Mary. We believe that no sin has touched her body, hearth, mind, spirit and intentions. She is the purest, because she was to become the mother of Our Lord Jesus Christ. She is the door of God the Most High to the incarnation of the Word and thus she is a door that is purified since her own birth. To this special being we entrust ourselves and entrust the present situation. We ask Mary Immaculate to purify our souls and to clean the peoples from the covid19.