The Malta Independent 25 May 2020, Monday

Easter thoughts

Ivan Bartolo Thursday, 9 April 2020, 07:25 Last update: about 3 months ago

As we approach Easter, the feast that anchored our faith as Catholics because Christ rose from the dead, I would like to share some thoughts.

The period we are living in at the moment is Lent. During Lent, the tradition is that Catholics around the world make some sacrifice as a form of repentance and so that they give up something for the love of Jesus.

It is not easy to make sacrifices in todays world. Without being judgemental, I observe that greed and money and power, have taken over and have become today’s evil. This can be seen in the current situation in relation to the COVID-19 virus. When the health authorities, both locally and overseas, ask their citizens to make sacrifices to help contain the virus and hence avoid it spreading, people were reluctant to stay a step back and not carry on their normal lives. This is because they will lose out on their income.

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As I said I am not going to be judgemental as everyone needs money to survive. In an Economy driven society people take many things for granted and are ready to cut corners in order to maximise profit or increase income. The imposed ‘sacrifice’ that is being called on because of COVID-19 is cost oriented. The quantum of what someone is ready to gain in relation to a loss. I don’t blame anyone as when someone invests, they want return on their investment. I don’t blame workers that lose on their income as they have loans and bills to pay and life should carry on as much as normal. My observation is just how difficult it is to make sacrifices nowadays, especially big sacrifices.

The situation at the moment, because this virus is conditioning everyone, is not a nice one. However, I can see positives. Since everyone has taken refuge in their homes thus making the roads devoid of people and cars, there is less pollution around, there is the opportunity to fix the roads, the opportunity to spend time with family, time to discern one’s self and think of their values, appreciate life more and also dedicate more time to hobbies or do things that before weren’t of a priority. Taking time to communicate by phone, or skype, with the elderly or our loved ones. Making the most of it as much as we can.

My team and I took the opportunity to communicate with my constituents by phone, to see if they are in need of something and give them courage to march on. Given that social attributes are close to my heart especially by being the Opposition spokesman on solitude and the fight against poverty, among others, the current situation helped to be a reality check and an eyeopener for many.

Loneliness is felt even more especially because of social distancing, everyone locked in alone. Overseas there were people dying alone. Poverty could be on the rise because people who used to make extra efforts to strive on can be faced with unemployment or lack of basic needs. My heart goes out to these people. Unfortunately, there is not much I can do at the moment as I have to obey the Health Authority’s advice, however I am a phone call away for anyone who needs to talk.

I would like to take the opportunity to augur a Happy Easter to one and all even in these extraordinary circumstances. After all we are still Catholics and this is the moment we can show our true colours.

 

 

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