On the Same Boat
On the same boat
This double issue of Romana coincides with the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic in early 2020. Besides widespread illness and death, this health crisis has led to social and economic destabilization, and undermined many certainties of the globalized world in the 21st century.
At the same time, as Jesus’ disciples, we have gratefully contemplated the unity and solidarity shown by so many Christians and other people of good will who have done all they could to comfort the suffering and assist those in need. Today’s “good Samaritans,” from their own job and social position – whether working in science or medicine, or providing essential services in commerce and town management – have rendered a service that far exceeds the ordinary demands of their jobs.
As Pope Francis said in St. Peter’s Square last March 27th, during that extraordinary moment of prayer for the world: “We have realized that we are on the same boat, all of us fragile and disoriented, but at the same time important and needed, all of us called to row together, each of us in need of the comfort of the others.”
Also published in the present volume is the message Monsignor Fernando Ocáriz sent to the faithful and friends of the Prelature at the beginning of the pandemic, as well as other words of encouragement to confront this time with our eyes fixed on God and on those around us, for “if one member suffers, all suffer together” (1 Cor 12:26). During the Mass on June 26th, the Prelate highlighted, together with the suffering of the present moment, the reality that “we have witnessed countless examples of generosity, creativity, initiative, and the selfless work of so many people, even to the point of risking their own lives: health workers, law enforcement personnel, priests, volunteers... We have also heard stories of mothers and fathers struggling to make ends meet in their families during the confinement. These examples of self-giving have led us to be more closely united, to be more aware that we need others and that others need us.”
Creativity has led many Church institutions to find ways to keep their doors open and extend their pastoral care and efforts of evangelization, also through the internet.
From Romana we would like to extend our gratitude to so many people for their dedication, and remember in a special way all the faithful, relatives, cooperators and friends of Opus Dei who have died this year, due to the pandemic and other causes.
People are saying that the post-pandemic world will not be the same. May the content of these pages also help to recall the past twelve months, and to reflect with hope on the future and on the irreplaceable value of unity, solidarity and fraternity in building a world that is the common home for all of God’s sons and daughters.
A secondary consequence of the health crisis has been the added difficulty of regular postal service. Therefore the editorial staff of the bulletin decided to combine the two issues for 2020 into a single volume and to offer it in digital format. Also for this reason, we are grateful for the understanding and support of all our subscribers.
Romana, n. 70, January-December 2020, p. 11-12.