The apostolic administrator of Zamboanga has declared a 40-day fasting and penitence because of the alarming surge of COVID-19 cases in the country.
For the past few weeks, numbers reported have been mostly upwards of 10,000. Last week, a record-high 22,366 daily cases was reported from data around the country.
With this, the government had imposed the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) and modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) in various areas including the National Capital Region (NCR) until September 7. The public has also been encouraged further to get inoculated with any COVID-19 vaccine when given the opportunity. (Read: Cebu Archbishop Encourages Public To Get Their COVID-19 Vaccines)
Act of solidarity
Because of that Bishop Moises Cuevas has declared forty days of fasting and penitence for the Archdiocese of Zamboanga.
“I am declaring Forty Days of Fasting and Penitence for the Archdiocese of Zamboanga in solidarity with those who suffer readily the effects of the pandemic (to evoke the fasting and time of preparation of Christ in the wilderness),” the bishop said in a statement.
According to him, some may have taken advantage of the pandemic to ensure that they are financially, economically, and politically stable. However, many others do not have such luxury, and have been burdened with the constant fear of losing their job or income source, on top of the risk of being infected by the novel coronavirus.
He says that the 40 days can become an avenue where people, especially Christians, would realize that solidarity, charity, and fraternity are what matter most during these times. (Read: Pope Declares ‘Global Rosary Marathon’ for End of COVID-19)
“To find ourselves on the side of the good demands that we live the commandment of charity. But mere charity that is manipulated as an affection or sentiment, the kind of love that does not involve an authentic encounter or engagement with the other, can also mean living on bread alone—and true charity as it is requires also the demands of justice.”
The 40-day fasting and penitence will begin on October 13 through the tolling of church bells at 8PM followed by a Rosary, and will end on November 21, Christ the King Sunday.