God of Christians is Immanuel—God with us (Mt 1:23). God who has pitched tent among his people to be with
them, to be close to them, to heal them, to make them God’s own (cf. Jn 1:1-14). He came that they may have
life, and have it abundantly (Jn 10:10). He really made so many people his own by giving His own life and asked
them to follow the commandment to love one another as He loved (Jn 13:34). The Christians try to grasp and
comprehend Jesus—the Life itself (cf. Jn 14:6). Jesus’ life was the perfect example of a life lived by the Golden
Rule. His was a life dedicated to God and to love all his people. His perfect life becomes our goal. Not that we
can ever hope to live as He lived but the goal is to live our lives to the fullest—to be truly alive because of our
relationships with God and others. Never perfect but always ready and always finding room to grow more and
more alive in Christ.
The duty or the mission of the Christians is to share the life that they have received from the Lord fully with
humanity. However, social distancing is the news of the day, as it should be; however, if we end up distanced
from one another, we will be worse off, not better. For, that is not the lesson our Master taught us. If he came
giving life in abundance, His followers also learn to do the same to live fully the life in Jesus. Serving and loving
others as Christ himself has served us through his death and resurrection, is central to our faith—even when it
involves personal risk and cost. That’s what this crisis of CoVid-19 will reveal.
St. Irenaeus, bishop of Lyons, says “the glory of God is man fully alive.” He explains it in this way. The glory of
God gives life; those who see God receive life. For this reason God, who cannot be grasped, comprehended or
seen, allows himself to be seen, comprehended and grasped by human beings, that he may give life to those who
see and receive him. It is impossible to live without life, and the actualization of life comes from participation in
God, while participation in God is to see God and enjoy his goodness. Life in man is the glory of God; the life of
man is the vision of God. If the revelation of God through creation gives life to all who live upon the earth,
much more does the manifestation of the Father through the Word give life to those who see God. Immanuel
who pitched the tent among humanity is the Church, it is you and me. We are the Church. The Church makes
God present to the world affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Thus, the Church will glorify God.
Eusebius, a church historian, describes a fourth century epidemic that swept through the Roman Empire. Far
from escaping the cities or shutting off their homes from others, Eusebius records that “all day long Christians
tended to the dying and to the burial, countless numbers with no one to care for them. Others gather together
from all parts of the city a multitude of those withered from famine and distributed bread to them all.” As a
result, Eusebius concludes, “the Christians’ deeds were on everyone’s lips, and they glorified the God of the
St. Paul reminds us, “Bear one another’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ” (Gal 6:2).
For the Christians, how well we endure in sacrificially serving the vulnerable/unemployed is one of the greatest
indicators of how deeply we have understood what Christ has done for us. We love others because we
understand just how much God has done for us and how he then calls us to live in the light of that love. That is
what Christians were known for centuries ago—caring for others even during economic hardships. The moments
of crises define who Christians truly are and what Christians truly believe. “By this everyone will know that you
are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (Jn 13:35). By being fully alive in Jesus one becomes a real
Christian to be missionary of that life and love. That is the way Christians can give glory to God. Christians are
“citizens of heaven” (Phil. 3:20). That is, our hope is not in this life but in the one to come. We are only pilgrims
on this passing world. Let us set our minds on high (cf. Col 3: 2), despite the hardships we are going through and
live fully without worrying about tomorrow (cf. Mt 6:34).