Easter, the Feast of the Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the most important and joyous celebration in the Church’s calendar.
I am sure this is an Easter that will live in our memories for the rest of our lives as it hardly feels like a time for celebration. So many people are suffering the effects of this pandemic; so many people are living in fear and isolation wondering how they are going to cope through a long period of economic and food deprivation; so many people are feeling the separation of family and this is worldwide. And yet Easter, the resurrection, has possibly its greatest meaning for us at this time.
Easter is the culmination of the suffering of Holy Week. Jesus is mocked and tortured before suffering the pain of crucifixion. The disciples see all that they had hoped for dashed, living in fear and isolation lest they suffer the same fate, then comes the glorious light of the resurrection. History is littered with terrible events that eventually lead to the light of better times, of change for the greater good.
These are horrible times, but they will end, and already we see much to be thankful for. This Easter we should try to put aside our personal fears and frustration and look toward the light. The compassion, love, and joy that Christ brings into our lives are evident in these difficult times and we have much to be thankful for. Those who risk their own health, and lives, on the frontline caring for those infected, the caregivers in care homes and visiting individuals at home are foremost in our minds, but there are others that we possibly take for granted. Those who put themselves at risk keeping our shops open so we can be fed, the refuge collectors who ensure our environment stays healthy, the volunteers who support the most vulnerable in our community. So many people to be thankful for and to hold in our prayers.
At this Easter time we celebrate the joy of the resurrection of Christ Our Lord, and the resurrection of our world which will follow this testing time. The challenge for us to continue showing the love and compassion of this difficult time into what will be a very different world.
May the joy of the resurrection fill your hearts with love and compassion,
may the Holy Spirit fill you with courage and hope
and may Almighty God bless you
+ Father, Son and Holy Spirit.