Thursday, February 11, 2021

Corona19 and the Common Good

In a diocesan bulletin for priests the writer expresses his ideas on the common good and solidarity.

We have been trying to overcome the coronavirus for over a year with little success and rather than unifying us it has scattered us in our daily life. Keeping our distance from others and wearing masks has made the environment heavy, gloomy, given us mental fatigue and made us appreciate what has been lost. 

Getting together to pray and say Mass without any conditions was a great joy. To meet to have a meal, to laugh and enjoy each other's company was an important part of our life. To leave my quarters and to freely move around to other parts of the world and cultures gave great joy and we look back on those days with nostalgia.

The corona virus is a contagious disease that is raging throughout the world but somethings are not changing. The government and the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency are daily trying to put an end to the pandemic, the results are one of the most successful in the world. However there are those in society who unconditionally are there to undermine what is being done. The political opposition and part of the media and others in society who are wedded to the past.They see the government winning points from the citizens for their efforts to control the contagion and search for ways to undermine the efforts with false news to bolster their position.

The common good is according to Catholic teaching:  the whole network of social conditions which enable human individuals and groups to flourish and live a fully, genuinely human life, otherwise described as integral human development. Solidarity is about valuing our fellow human beings and respecting who they are as individuals. 

These two principles need to be seen in our common battle against the virus. This is no time to try to win points for our side at the expense of the others who need our support in the common fight.

Recently in buses, post offices, banks you see printed material with warnings to the effect that any behavior that is disrespectful, bordering on the violent towards the one who is serving can be punishable with a fine. There is a lot of anger within society because of the virus and the resulting consequences. This is one example of how lack of civility in dealing with others appears in our daily life because of the virus.

It is always easier to tear down than to build up. We are familiar with these words. Criticism comes easier than words of praise. In our society many do not see those who are hurting, the poor, the marginalized who have a more difficult time than those who are well established within society and are not bothered greatly with economic worries.

The virus has done great harm to society and to many individuals. Is it not time to work together for the good of all? Korea has handled the situation with great success and we should  be thankful for the freedom from drastic lock downs that other countries had to endure. Hopefully we will be seeing the light at the end of the tunnel as the warm weather begins to lift our spirits and the appearance of the vaccine. Happy Lunar New Year!

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