The RMS Titanic of the 21st Century

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The RMS Titanic of the 21st Century

By Fr. Dr. Rif'at Bader

On these days, people have a legitimate right to question the cause of the evils plaguing the world, including the COVID-19 that wreaked havoc in various parts of the world, changed many daily behaviors, and plunged the entire world into an emergency situation.

Reverting to the 20th century and specifically to the year 1912, when a ship called RMS Titanic sailed from Britain to New York. The ship was built by the most skilled engineers in which the most advanced technologies were used. It was equipped with the highest safety standards and believed that it cannot be sunk. But what happened was not taken into account as the ship, with an estimated 2,224 passengers and crew aboard, hit an iceberg and later sank.

Several films were produced showing the dramatic scenes and how people behaved in view of the inevitable sinking of the ship. It is related that there was an emphasis on the way the seats were arranged so that senior people would not get angry since there were rich and poor people on board the ship. During the sinking of the ship, the musicians continued to play music, which was not out of indifference, but because they wanted to spread an atmosphere of calm and tranquility amongst the passengers. At those "critical" moments, the passengers resorted to prayer and singing hymns amongst which was the famous hymn "Amazing Grace", which says, "The Lord hath promised good to me, His word my hope secures; He will my shield and portion be as long as life endures."

The current events are not different from those that took place in the past as the world stands to be a ship which crashes into a violent wall, namely Coronavirus. There is no need to analyze the biological causes of this dreaded virus, but we want to say that the extended human family moves nowadays towards greater closeness than before because the challenges are common, and the precious life is a blessing from the Almighty Creator.

Houses of worship, such as churches and mosques, were closed being part of the community institutions where gatherings are forbidden. There have been several social media outlets which serve people wishing to pray. There have also been problems as to how to enable the clergy to visit the sick who are on the verge of death. This prompted His Holiness Pope Francis to undertake special measures designed to ensure attainment of penance prior to death.

The Titanic of the 21st Century: Is it Noah's ark that was designed to punish people for their sins. This is in the mind of the Almighty God and we cannot admit that what happened was a divine punishment. But what happened, undoubtedly, reflects several lessons. It indicates that the list of priorities has become topsy turvy with people's interests becoming materialistic, such as travel with business taking the lead of interests. Nowadays, we probably seek the support of scientists and laboratories so as to place scientific research at the service of humanity and to have the world's efforts refrain from seeking profits and consumer benefits.

Our common Christian and Islamic prayer these days is to implore the Almighty Lord to preserve the universe and to preserve the human beings who are the greatest asset in this world. We also implore the Almighty Lord to bless the local efforts, led by His Majesty the King as well as all the governmental and security apparatuses, that are actively intertwined to serve the public benefit in the interest of the homeland and the citizens who are the greatest asset.

abouna.org@gmail.com

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