[DAILY GOSPEL INSIGHTS AND REFLECTION FOR MANAGEMENT AND ORGANIZATION 6 to 10: JANUARY 6-10, 2022]

How should we pray?

What greater test of a new year’s resolution than to battle COVID at the onset, right? Haha! As I like to say to my friends and even students, God’s sense of humor is funny this way. At the same time, it is perhaps in this kind of humor where I can draw the insight – the meaning – behind a new year, a new baptism of sorts… despite the conditions we live in.

The coronavirus, with all its mutations and variants, is here to stay, for better or for worse. How should we pray? Do we call on God to magically eradicate the virus away? I find more peace praying the Serenity Prayer written by Reinhold Niebuhr:

“God, give me grace to accept with serenity
the things that cannot be changed,
Courage to change the things
which should be changed,
and the Wisdom to distinguish
the one from the other.

Living one day at a time,
Enjoying one moment at a time,
Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace,
Taking, as Jesus did,
This sinful world as it is,
Not as I would have it,
Trusting that You will make all things right,
If I surrender to Your will,
So that I may be reasonably happy in this life,
And supremely happy with You forever in the next.

Amen.”

(Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serenity_Prayer)

God is a reasonable God; His miracles have manifested through our wise medical doctors, the creators of vaccines, our frontliners, the care from our loved ones, friends, and colleagues. To ask for more, to pray for more, may be selfish or greedy on our part already.

The virus is here to stay, but God has blessed us with serenity, courage, and wisdom. It is now our responsibility to adapt — how can we design businesses, organizations, and systems that better respond to the given of the times? This is the challenge that we must collectively think and feel about.

Some experts are optimistic: the omicron is the beginning of the end of the pandemic (Source: https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1536724/omicron-beginning-of-the-end-of-pandemic-but-public-has-to-remain-careful). But now is not the time to abandon care nor reason nor faith; we have to lean into these gifts and see the light at the end of the tunnel.

References: Gospels after the Epiphany and entering the short ordinary time
Luke 4:14-22
Luke 5:12-16
John 3:22-30
Luke 3:15-16, 21-22 (Baptism of Jesus)
Mark 1:14-20 (First week of the short ordinary time)

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