It is hard to believe that it is Easter Monday and our world has seen such dramatic change, hardship, pain and suffering. Thousands have died and thousands are battling this horrific virus. But, there are many bright spots.
Look at the amazing work that our first responders, nurses, doctors, aids, grocery workers, pharmacy workers, garbage pick up personnel, mail-persons etc have and are doing for us. Yes, we are at home and a bit fearful but there are so many around who are making our lives a bit easier. We pray at a distance without the benefit of our Churches, community, sacraments, friends and family. And, we are asked to embrace our faith in new ways, with new challenges, incorporating new paradigms to welcome the Lord into our lives.
Our whole earth is groaning, all faiths are suffering, all races, all countries – Our Common Home is in pain; we cannot and will not give up nor lose our faith. Is it difficult, yes all challenges are; are we grieving, yes but there is new life; is there hope, absolutely.
The Easter Vigil Liturgy proclaims: “Are you unaware that we who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?” What a great prayer of unconditional hope and Love. From the early Church until now, we are asked to embrace and to evolve into a new people of God; a new Creation; we are asked to Rise with the Risen Christ and have the faith and courage to overcome this moment of despair, loneliness, and fear. Yes, we can trust the Lord because this too will pass and the questions will be who are we to become; what lessons have we learned; how can we live into the next generations of life; what does all of this mean to us on a personal and family basis?
It may be too soon to answer the questions, but it is not too soon to ask them. We are asked to grow in union with the Lord and to see His death as a profound act of freedom and love. We are asked to emerge from this COVID-19 pandemic as new people and to evolve into a people more free and more willing to follow the simple messages of our Lord. What a time to strengthen our marriages, our relationships with children, our family ties! What have we sacrificed; what have we let go of; what have we experienced as a result of that sacrifice.
Now is the time to reflect and learn; now is a chance to live a new life; now is a time to be thankful for health, happiness, and closer relationships. The message of Easter is that the Lord has conquered death, even death on the cross so that we could totally and completely share in His Resurrection. We are asked again and again to reflect and pray with Paul the Disciple: “Sisters and Brothers, Are you unaware that we who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his Death? We were indeed buried with him through baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might live in newness of Life” Do you believe and live this! Happy Easter, every day.