The year 2020 saw an unexpected visitor entering this world and getting hold of everything, and even to this day continues to manipulate humanity and the planet. During this year, either we saw on the television or read in the newspapers how people throughout the world suffered due to COVID-19 pandemic. As we bid farewell to 2020, let us not forget to thank God for His guidance and protection. I think we, the Oblates in Japan-Korea are very much blessed with the comforts of life, and we “owe God a constant debt of gratitude” (2Tes.1:3) for giving us all that we need, especially the health of mind and body.
They say that any crisis comes with a lesson and an opportunity to change and to move forward. The present pandemic has taught us important lessons and we find some mentioned in Pope Francis’ message written on the occasion of the 106th World Day of Migrants and Refugees (Sept.27, 2020):
– The pandemic has created a dramatic and troubling silence that has given us an opportunity to listen to the cry of the poor, the abandoned and our seriously ill planet.
– The pandemic has reminded us that in spite of our differences in nationality, race or colour we are all in the same boat, and what we have in common are our concerns, fears and anxieties.
– The pandemic has also taught us the importance of co-responsibility and the contribution of each person.
Brothers, we have seen humanity at its best during this crisis, as many came forward to extend their helping hand and to care for the suffering. Some of us might have witnessed the generosity and kindness of people who even risked their lives in order to help and support the poor and the abandoned. Thanks to some of you in Korea for finding new ways to help the homeless and migrants, and to some in Japan for making a contribution out of your own pocket to help refugees who went jobless during the ‘state of emergency’ period.
I think, although the pandemic and travel restrictions prevented in-person contact, our connection to each other did not diminish but grew stronger. Thank God we have the luxury of social media which has helped us remain connected and continues to enable us to hold meetings and prayer sessions.
As we come to the end of this year, l would like to express a word of thanks to all of you for your contribution to the Delegation, for your patience and perseverance in times of difficulties, and of course for your prayers. Let us continue to remain united with each other, help and support the other as we journey together.
I wish you all a peaceful and a healthy New Year.
Thank you & God Bless you.
Brad Rozairo OMI