2020: a year that God would like to forget SDG17 EN

 

2020: a year that God would like to forget

Miguel Ángel Velasco cmf

Member of the Claretian Team at the UN

 

We are about to end a year that will be written with particular references in the world's history. The chronicle of this year, in which the whole of humanity has been infected, will be written in red letters of pain in every country on earth. The COVID-19 has hit the old, the retired, the adults, the youth, and the children in all countries of the world. The Coronavirus Pandemic has joined endemic epidemics in tropical climate areas, to Monsoon rains and typhoons or hurricanes in Central America. It has not been a good year, and, as I suggest in the title, God has suffered much with all the dead and affected. He has suffered and been hurt as much as the death of the children and adolescents "miners" of the coal of the border between Bangladesh and India. To interpret it otherwise is an insult to the one we Christians call God and Father.

 

At the end of this year, 2020, we can ask ourselves one question: what was God doing during this fateful year? As so often, the answer is given long ago: "I have made you"; moreover, God could tell us: "I have become a man to teach you how to carry forward, improving it, my creation." No, God has not been absent from our lives this year, 2020; He has been giving strength, inspiration, and generosity to humanity. The list of generosity and creativity is endless: researchers, nurses, doctors, delivery people, supermarket cashiers, social service workers, Caritas volunteers, believers, agnostics, non-believers... In all of us, we have been able to find, if I may say so as a believer, the mark of a God who loves us and wants things to be better for his children.

From the United Nations, international solidarity has continued to be promoted, even though its offices are practically closed globally; the United Nations people have continued to serve in many places. The European Union has fought tirelessly against individual countries' enclosure in the Union and has offered joint solutions. Consultations between many governments on how to deal with the Pandemic have been extensive. Researchers' effort to get the vaccine has been enormous, as has international collaboration to achieve it. We can always wonder why the pharmaceutical companies that have discovered vaccines have increased their stock market value so much: is it because investors want to contribute their money to continue research, or is it because they are only looking for an economic return as never before? There is no doubt that "wheat continues to grow along with weeds,"; but the COVID-19 crisis shows us how to make humanity grow and reveals to us "who is who" in the world.

 

One of the consequences of this crisis has been the enclosure of each country, or group of countries, in their problems, to try to solve them on their own. Here in Europe, where I am writing, we are very concerned about vaccines in Spain and Europe, but less so about those in other parts of the world. It is the same as has happened throughout the whole Pandemic: we have thought more about our survival than others. I find this attitude of defending one's own life in the face of such an aggressive danger as COVID-19 understandable, but the time is coming when the fog and the darkness will disappear. It is time to think about the whole world; it is time to remember that we have had a "world catastrophe" that has returned us, in many places in the world, to situations of precariousness experienced twenty years ago. It is the hour of truth; now "the countries that have the vaccine," we have to put on our hearts, minds, and hands of GLOBAL CITIZENS, to think of solutions for all humanity. As is being repeated in many forums, COVID-19 warns us that there are challenges, present and future, that must be resolved with all countries' collaboration and commitment. It is essential to think about Global Governance mechanisms that, while preserving the peculiarities of cultures and countries, serve to ensure that humanity functions in a coordinated manner. Once again, Human Rights and Agenda 2030 appear to be a correct path for all.

 

Christians will continue to celebrate Christmas every year. God's message about what He wants and values from us, but Christmas is mostly the message about THE GIFTS AND CAPABILITIES WITH WHICH GOD HAS CREATED HUMANITY. May Christmas make us build a future for humanity, as God wishes. His Spirit will always give strength and encouragement to all, believers and non-believers, who want to participate in its construction.

 

Miguel Ángel Velasco cmf

Member of the Claretian Team at the UN

 

 

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