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Fr om the


                          Rev. Fr. Jayson D.C. Endaya, OSJ

                  E HAVE BEEN HEARING A LOT LATELY the          of God is not chained” (2 Timothy 2:9). It will always be
                  phrase “the new normal” as quarantine         proclaimed. Either virtually or physically, the power of
          Wrestrictions have been eased off. We can see         the Word of God will still move people to act in charity.
          more safety protocols set by LGUs and the national
          government. The use of face masks and face shields has   Although we, as members of the Josephite-Marellian
          become a must. Some people look like astronauts with   Family, are not spared from the change that the present
          their personal protective equipment as they interact   pandemic has caused, the way we perform our ministry
          with each other, go to work, buy groceries and the like.   as Oblates of Saint Joseph should not change. As OSJs,
          We have realized how important protecting ourselves   let us not be content with celebrating the sacraments
          from the dangers brought by COVID-19. However, no     and just wait for the people to come to the Church.
          matter how dangerous the disease is, some of us—      Pope Francis in his Fratelli Tutti, encourages us to be
          especially the medical and health workers—continue    “heralds of hope.” As heralds of hope, “we have a great
          their work in the frontlines of the war we wage against   opportunity to express our innate sense of fraternity,
          the invisible enemy.                                  to be Good Samaritans who  bear the pain  of other
                                                                people’s troubles rather than fomenting greater hatred
          The  threat  of  the  virus  is    far  from  over.  This  means   and resentment. Like the chance traveler in the parable,
          that we still have  to  follow the safety protocols  set   we need only have a pure and simple desire to be a
          by the government: wearing face masks and shields,    people, a community, constant and tireless in the effort
          social distancing, and avoiding unnecessary trips. The   to include, integrate and lift up the fallen” (no. 77).
          “quarantined” lifestyle, which continues to take a heavy   This is the meaning of love. Love “creates bonds and
          toll on almost all forms of business and educational and   expands existence” (no. 88).
          cultural institutions, has led us to discover and rediscover
          many valuable realities. Families and individuals, for   As educators, the Holy Father reminds us also to form
          example, living together in confinement have become   people capable of responsibility; form students to
          aware of the many things that were ignored during the   become not just outstanding learners but also authentic
          pre-COVID-19 times: the value of parental presence    witnesses  of  our  faith.  Since  the  pandemic  is  still
          and support, the importance of dialogue among family   ongoing, the responsibility lies not only to us educators,
          members and many others. Indeed, we have witnessed    but also to you our dear parents and guardians. Let us
          how people are rediscovering and treasuring familial   respond together and not cower in fear. Let us all be
          ties: eating together, doing household chores together,   brave and firm as stewards just like St. Joseph.
          praying together and resting together. The seemingly
          forgotten family traditions are cherished again.      I have to admit that I am looking forward to returning
                                                                to the “old normal.” But in some ways, things will never
          We have slowly begun the “new normal” in the Church.   be the same. Despite the global lockdowns, God has
          Celebration of the Holy Mass will never be the same   opened new doors for us to bring His saving message
          again anymore as present rules do not allow us to do   to His beloved people. I firmly believe that God can
          whatever we were doing before the end of the second   bring something good out of this pandemic, even in the
          week of March 2020. Because of this, virtual celebrations   most terrible and worst situation! And because of the
          of the Holy Mass have been our best option to enliven   power of God’s Word and love, nothing can hinder us
          our faith. Things have gradually changed. But there   from serving Jesus’ interests—not even the COVID-19
          is one thing that will never change: the power of the   disease!
          gospel message. St. Paul reminds us that “[t]he word
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