Celebrate Christ the King during COVID-19 – Bishop Teuma

Anton Teuma
Betty Bugeja

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

Does it make sense to celebrate the feast of Christ the King during COVID-19? asked Bishop Anton Teuma during the Diocesan Celebration of Christ the King in Gozo.

As yesterday the Catholic Church celebrated the feast of Christ the King, the Bishop of Gozo Anton Teuma celebrated Mass in the Sanctuary of Our Lady of ta’ Pinu in Għarb. This was Mgr. Teuma’s first message since he took the role of Bishop of Gozo. 

In his homily, the Bishop asked whether it made sense to celebrate the feast of Christ the King at a time when the whole world is being affected by a pandemic, and explained that it depends on what one expects. The Bishop explained that if one expects that Jesus will stop Covid-19 and heal all who are sick so that everyone can continue with his life, then this feast does not make sense because, despite prayers, there were still people who lost their lives.

Bishop Teuma stressed that God loves everyone because everyone is his child, and added that one must learn from the pandemic. He said that at this moment, one can take advantage of getting to know “Christ the King of Covid”. Mgr. Teuma reflected on how people have become aware of their weaknesses, as well as the lack of control they hold over everything.

“We can also realize that we are people in need. We can learn to be more true to ourselves. We are weak people,” the Bishop emphasized. He added that this leads us to recognize the fact that we need things from God and that no one can survive on his own. The Bishop warned against the danger of exaggerated individualism, using the example of abortion which “because of the mother’s individuality, one is willing to sacrifice the individuality of the child.”

Love and family

Mgr. Teuma also spoke about the need for the family to be a value that can save us from human selfishness. He added that the attention and care that family members are showing towards each other at this time of the pandemic is a testament to this. “The pandemic, without us noticing, increased the interest and love for our family. We rediscovered our family as a gift, a gift from God. We realized that the family protects us, saves us from danger. Our family has reduced our risk of getting sick by being careful. ”

“When there is this Christian love among us, those who have lost their jobs eat with those who have not, so that there is no need to sacrifice someone’s life to keep the economy going. When there is no such thing as Christian love, the fear of not having enough for myself, or the fear of losing my income, even outweighs the value of your life.”

The Bishop ended his reflection by reiterating the meaning of the Gospel of the Last Judgment broadcast by the Church on Christ the King: “King Jesus, from his throne of the cross, judges the life of each and every one of us in the time of Covid.”

For this celebration, the Gozitan parish priests that were physically present in the Basilica and in a gesture in which they approached to collect a white stole from the altar, under the image of the Crucifix, they renewed their commitment to the communities that they serve, following the example of Christ.

The stole, worn for the celebration of the Holy Liturgy, is a symbol of service to the good of the people, where the Shepherds take on the same yoke of Jesus and learn from him, pray for the people, proclaim the Gospel of the Kingdom and administer the Sacraments.

This celebration finished by a moment of prayer at the feet of Our Lady of ta’ Pinu for the Church and all the people.