Christ, Cross and COVID-19: Words that Never Die in the New Normal Religious Communication
Christ, Cross and COVID-19:
Words that Never Die in the New Normal Religious Communication
Norman Melchor R. Pena Jr., SSP
Religion and Social Communication 20, no. 1 (2022)
A correlative resonance exists between the experience of communication in the new normal forced by the COVID-19 pandemic and each of the Seven Last Words of Christ on the Cross. The words become the new normal way and guiding beacon to how religious communication can be effectuated during the pandemic. They herald hope in God – the first and the last Word of creation. The study begins by defining the global challenge and loss of human lives brought by COVID-19, a new arena of communication that reincarnates the reality of Christ’s Last Words on the cross. These words never die but continue to live inspiring a sevenfold praxis of hope: 1) entreaty, 2) disclosure, 3) relationship, 4) isolation, 5) exigency, 6) fulfillment and 7) entrustment. Each relates with narrative experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic inviting persons not only to approach communication as a process of transmission but as semiotics offering newfound meanings and significance. Here communication never fails as listeners focus on the self-significance of the message. Religious communication enables people to seek what is best for those who receive the message and centers on how they could grow not only in faith but likewise as human beings who bear God’s image and likeness also in the time of the pandemic.
Keywords: COVID-19, new normal, Christ, cross, communication