Happy Easter 2020
As this Holy Week comes to a conclusion at such a troubling time in our nation’s history, I wanted first send warm wishes of joy, strength, and hope that we can all return to “normal” as soon as possible.
It has been such a bizarre time for so many of us. I recall over the past few weeks, someone saying that we should take advantage of this time of self-quarantine and working from home (WFH) to think about LIFE. That is to say, life in general, as well as our own lives more specifically.
As we all get older, it’s inevitable that we come to think about our past, and more specifically our younger years, including our childhood.
With all of us apart this Easter Sunday, I hope the video below, which includes footage of family Easter Sunday celebrations from 40-50 years ago, brings you some Easter joy and can help foster cherished memories of simpler times – times of childhood innocence, childhood serenity, and childhood dreams. I also hope it can bring the promise of renewal and transformation in the world.
May the blessings of Easter bring strength and fortitude to persevere against the evil in the world today.
May this time of pain and sacrifice foster a sense of gratitude and appreciation for the health care workers on the front line, the members of the military and national guard supporting the nationwide response, the first responders answering the calls of so many in need, our government leaders managing this emergency, and all our brothers and sisters praying in these most desperate times.
And may this time of Easter reflection bring you the comfort of knowing that we are not alone.
Have a blessed Easter! and feel free to leave a comment below.
A Reflection from Pope Francis
A couple of weeks ago, Pope Francis delivered an extraordinary blessing “To the City and to the World” to pray for an end to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.
The Pope offered a meditation on the crisis facing the world, calling us to faith.
This storm, said the Pope, exposes “our vulnerability and uncovers those false and superfluous certainties around which we have constructed our daily schedules” and lays bare “all those attempts to anesthetize ourselves”.
What is revealed, he said, is “our belonging as brothers and sisters,” our common humanity.
God is calling on us to seize this time of trial as a time of choosing, he said.
Now is not the time of God’s judgment, but of our own: “a time to choose what matters and what passes away, a time to separate what is necessary from what is not.”
The Pope said we can draw lessons from the many people who – even though fearful – have reacted by giving their lives, including medical personnel, supermarket clerks, cleaners, priests, police officers, and volunteers. This, he said, “is the force of the Spirit poured out and fashioned in courageous and generous self-denial.”
“If we turn to Jesus and hand Him our fears,” said the Pope, “He will conquer them.”
“Because this is God’s strength: turning to the good everything that happens to us, even the bad things. He brings serenity into our storms, because with God, life never dies.”
So God asks us now, in the midst of the tempest, “to reawaken and put into practice that solidarity and hope capable of giving strength, support and meaning to these hours when everything seems to be floundering.”
Jesus’ cross, said Pope Francis, is the anchor that has saved us, the rudder that has redeemed us, and our hope, because “by His cross we have been healed and embraced so that nothing and no one can separate us from His redeeming love.”
“In the midst of isolation when we are suffering from a lack of tenderness and chances to meet up, and we experience the loss of so many things,” he said, “let us once again listen to the proclamation that saves us: He is risen and is living by our side.”
So we embrace His cross in the hardships of the present time, and make room in our hearts “for the creativity that only the Spirit is capable of inspiring.”
“Embracing the Lord in order to embrace hope: that is the strength of faith, which frees us from fear and gives us hope.”
At this time of need, Pope Francis recently offered everyone the opportunity to receive a plenary indulgence, which is a wonderful Easter gift.
In closing, I’d like to share with you this powerful ten-minute video from Terry MacAlmon at the Pikes Peak Festival.
I find myself listening to it every day, especially during this difficult time.
Remarkably, it brings me a sense of peace, consolation, and healing. I hope it can bring some for you too.
It’s very interesting to see the people in the hall experiencing this performance. They appear to be very much impacted.