Message from The Hulk

By Modesto P. Sa-onoy

So many Catholics had been badgering their bishops to reopen the churches but adopting measures to prevent the spread of the disease. To a devout Catholic, the Mass which includes the reception of the Holy Eucharist is vital. I recall St. Pio saying that it is better without the sun than without the Eucharist.

Indeed, to those who sincerely believe in the Holy Presence of Christ in the Sacred Host, the risk of death is of no import, for death is the doorway to God.

One message I received said, “The current situation, where in many parts of the world no public Masses are said could be understood by the Pope and bishops as a divine rebuke for the past fifty years of Eucharistic desecrations and trivializations and, at the same time, as a merciful appeal for an authentic Eucharistic conversion of the entire Church.”

But it’s more than just those few cardinals and bishops. People generally can see what’s happening. A new poll covered by LifeSite last week found that almost half of Americans see the coronavirus pandemic as a “wake-up call” from God and “to turn back to the faith.” One third see it as the “last days” as foretold in the Bible, according to a national poll. Moreover, Christians and non-Christians alike are turning to the Bible and religion as the crisis continues, the study found.

Indeed, the Facebook and Messengers and text messages are filled with quotations from the Bible, prayers and spiritual thoughts of many learned men and women of the world.

And if that’s not enough, famed wrestler and movie star Hulk Hogan encouraged his 2.2 million Twitter followers to do penance.

LifeSite reported that Hogan called the coronavirus “one of the most powerful gifts to our human race.”  He added, “[It’s] as powerful as it gets here on earth, thank you God. Only love HH.” He added a quote from 2 Chronicles 7:13-14 to the tweet.

This Bible verse reads: “Whenever I hold back the rain or send locusts to eat up the crops or send an epidemic on my people, if they pray to me and repent and turn away from the evil they have been doing, then I will hear them in heaven, forgive their sins, and make their land prosperous again.”

The famous wrestler reiterated the call to penance later in the week saying, “Wake up, can you handle the truth my brother?” He added, “In three short months just like He did with the plagues of Egypt, God has taken away everything we worship. God said, ‘you want to worship athletes, I will shut down the stadiums. You want to worship musicians I will shut down Civic Centers. You want to worship actors I will shut down theaters. You want to worship money I will shut down the economy and collapse the stock market. You don’t want to go to church and worship me, I will make it where you can’t go to church.’”

“If my people who are called by my name,” Hogan continues, quoting Scripture, “will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

“Maybe we don’t need a vaccine. Maybe we need to take this time of isolation from the distractions of the world and have a personal revival where we focus on the ONLY thing in the world that really matters, Jesus.”

I had not expected The Hulk to be so clear and emphatic in his assessment and message. The problem we have is that many of our leaders, including Church leaders who should be interpreting this unusual virus in the light of the Gospel, are hooked up to thinking that human effort alone suffices.

Sure, they called for prayers, but is there sincere effort to seek Divine forgiveness and expiation for sins?

I wrote before that the CBCP formulated prayers against this virus did not include the word “repent” or “penance” but asked God for help and mercy. As quoted by The Hulk, if we wanted God’s intervention here is the formula: humble yourselves and pray and seek my face and turn from your wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and forgive your sin and will heal your land.”

Without repentance can there be salvation?