Alex is part of the team of physiotherapists of the Football Club of Valencia. He is one of many who has wanted to spend his time helping the most vulnerable. The first one was when he spent a month in Varod, Sri Lanka, a center for the victims of the Tamil Tiger war. Then a month in Sumanahali, India, a city to care for lepers and their families. This past summer, he was Kimbondo. I ask you to stop reading for a moment and try to answer this question: Where is Kimbondo?
You probably could not answer: the Democratic Republic of Congo. There he spent three weeks of his vacation given by the Football Club of Valencia but working as a physical therapist, which is his job, with hundreds of children, adolescents, and young people who live there. The people of the Kimbondo Pidriatric center were abandoned in the street because of their psychic and physical malformations. Alex will surely return to Kimbondo but, until then, he does what he can: Alex asks for solidarity so that he can send resources. COVID-19 has arrived. I do not bring this story here to conclude by asking for money, but to look at one example of the millions of generous people that humanity is full of, TODAY.
The Coronavirus is something like a tsunami. First, you live outside of it; then, you sense that something strange and tremendous is going to happen; finally, you see the wave coming, but only when the water floods everything, you realize what was going to happen. The COVID-19 is being a tsunami that is going around the world. Overflowing hospitals, nursing homes almost transformed into death traps, immense loneliness in sickness and death, impossible to say goodbyes to loved ones, empty streets, job layoffs, closed businesses. In all of us, the hope that this will end as soon as possible. Asia and Europe already lived in; it is beginning to be lived in America and will be in Africa. The drama, though much in Europe and the USA, will be much higher in places with weaker health and economic systems. The Coronavirus crisis will represent a new starting point for many things in our world.
They say that difficult situations bring out the best and worst in each person, the time when we can see our being. The same thing happens with any organizations in the whole world, with the COVID-19. I am surprised that fraud on the Internet has increased and that viruses have even been invented to block the computer system of hospitals. I am outraged to see how the “faceless vulture fundraiser” with deciding heads plays with companies to lose the value of their stock market, then buy the stock at the lowest cost. I find it incredible the lack of solidarity within countries that close their borders to medicines and even to steal consignments already bought by diverting them to other countries. Perhaps the people responsible for all this have never looked into the eyes of the deaths caused by their actions. What a big difference between interpreting statistics and interpreting human faces with concrete names!
All of us who run this blog are Christians who believe deeply in the goodness of human beings: “and God saw that everything was good” (cf. Gen 1); “God created man in his image and likeness” (Gen 1:27). Everything is true in the previous paragraph, and even more, could be added. During the last decades, we already experienced a lack of solidarity: we are one and many situations can only be resolved if we tackle them together, but we ignored them. Now along with all the bad, countless things tell us about the immense goodness and potential of the human being. There are many “Alex” on our planet who are giving up their lives for love in favor of others. Why not think that a better world is possible, in which, for example, the European Community fulfills the aims that inspired it? Why can’t it be possible for the USA and China to come to a collaboration for a new world? We can’t do it alone; the Secretary-General of the UN, Antonio Guterres, said this a few days ago and affirmed the need for a clear option for more effective global governance. We must take steps forward. We are one human race seeing in one commonplace. We are no longer North-South, but one humanity that includes Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe, and Oceania.
Easter is coming. Jesus’ life is an expression of God’s total trust and commitment to humanity. A clear call to those who believe in Him to continue His work: to promote a more fraternal world as children of God. Sometimes it seems that our community is an inhospitable desert; sometimes it seems that the tempting offers of Power, Greed, and Desire wins the game. The world that Jesus wants is based on the Beatitudes, not on the temptations of the desert. The last day of Holy Week is not Good Friday, it is Easter Sunday.
God, our Father, created us to be a family. It will be good that this Easter, we feel challenged by Jesus, who asks us to get involved in the construction of these new ways to global generosity and governance. We are not alone. Many seek the same. Furthermore, we Christians believe that the Spirit moves us all toward those ideals. No?
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