EXTRAORDINARY EASTER with the PAINFUL PANDEMIC
Dear Friends in the risen Lord,
The restlessness, anxiety and pain are increasing day by day. The ‘Corona’ cases and its death toll are multiplying despite extension of lockdown with stricter measures. Being in this context of house arrest we celebrated Easter-2020. All of us have experienced a sense of being lost externally and from an internal perspective, there is a feeling of coming to one’s own senses by being at home with the loved ones. We are all going through, a mixed feelings of being lost, stranded, afraid and anxious. This is when; the following words and phrases of risen Lord give us lot of consolation and strength.
“Peace be with you,” Jn.20:19
“Receive the Holy Spirit,” Jn.20:22
“I am with you always,” Mt. 28:20
“Go and make disciples of all nations” Mt. 28:20
“Do not be afraid” Mt. 28:10
“Do not be unbelieving but believe.” Jn.20:19
If only we can personalize these words and phrases in our current situation, we can truly experience consolation and gain inner strength just as the disciples who had almost lost hope in Him. The onslaught of ‘Covid-19’ and the misery which is rapidly unfolding is so disturbing that only the words of Jesus can give us a renewed hope. This renewed hope is similar to the way His disturbed disciples experienced the power of the resurrection.
Where are we?
Some of us are deeply troubled with the agony and the ambiguity of the future. Some of us are mourning over the death of our dear ones in different parts of the world. Some of us are concerned for those stranded without essentials to sustain themselves. Some of us are in close solidarity with the poor migrants and the suffering.
How do we move forward?
‘When God closes one door, he opens four and more’. Yes. We are witnessing a kind of ‘metanoia’ in our attitudes, in our value system, in our efforts to maintain health and hygiene and a clean surrounding, all by being at home. With this newness:
1. We pray daily for all the health workers, medical practitioners, law enforcers (politicians and police), community leaders, scientists, and experts who seek to find medical remedies, and all those who risk their lives to save others.
2. We join hands with people who share their resources and with the humanitarian volunteers and workers who feed the hungry, shelter the homeless, and look after the vulnerable.
3. We express our solidarity with the victims of Covid-19 and the bereaved families, through prayer, phone calls, emails, WhatsApp and through all possible social media.
4. We specially pray for all those who are sick and suffering from other diseases and the poor who are affected by the pandemic.
5. On a personal level, we take time, to read, to reflect, to pray and to write down how we have exploited the environment and in what way we could restore the grandeur of, God given Globe-Mother earth and share the fruits of our prayer and reflections with our fellow human beings. The Easter event does not wipe away all our pain and suffering. But it instills in us the courage to face and fight the pandemic with undying hope, patience and the faith in the risen Lord.
Let us continue to uphold our faith in the risen Lord. After all, we are Easter people and Alleluia is our song.
Fr Arun SJ
PP of IHMC