We are an Easter People.
Happy Easter to everyone. What a different Easter Triduum experience it has been as we have walked through the journey with Jesus to Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Sunday. So many of the symbols of this time have taken on new meaning in the light of the Coronavirus COVID-10 pandemic.
On Holy Thursday we have recalled the washing of the feet and the call to service. Keeping our hands washed has been a constant call of these past weeks and I imagined our health care workers washing the feet of those critical patients in their care. We have seen their work of service lauded across our world reminding us as Christians of our own call to be of service to one another. Buying food, as the disciples were invited to do by Jesus for the Passover Meal, has been one reason, we have been able to be seen on the streets. Families have shared meals together as Jesus did with his friends on that first Holy Thursday evening. All these very familiar actions have taken on new meaning for me over these days.
We have stood at the cross with Mary his mother, the other women and John the beloved disciple and gazed upon the reality of our suffering world. We have stood there with the poor and vulnerable and those at the margins without access to medical facilities and places to self-isolate. We have stood there with our health workers and those who are providing essential services risking their lives for others. We have stood there with those who have lost loved ones and whose hearts ache when they have not been able to celebrate a funeral liturgy. We have stood there with all those who have lost their jobs and wonder how they will feed their families. We have stood there with all those who are in isolation and not able to meet with their loved ones. And we have placed all these realities into the hands of our Abba God as Jesus did on the Cross.
On Holy Saturday we have waited alone in the tomb of our homes trusting that through the darkness of these times we will find new meaning and purpose for the way we live. We have gone to the place of darkness and emptiness with our fears and disappointments and searched our hearts for purpose and in this place, we have discovered a sacred thread connecting us to one another. We have been humbled by the power of this coronavirus COVDI-19 and we have come to know the great Easter gift of hope.
On this Easter we recall that we are an Easter people. Like the women and men joining in a chorus of hope and singing while in the confines of their homes and in lock down we too rise on this Easter knowing that the light of Christ dispels the darkness of our hearts and minds. The Easter Candle has been lit calling us once again to be that Easter light for one another and for those who have no-one to light the candle of Easter joy in their lives.
In the words of Mary MacKillop, “be calm and full of hope” (1871) as you find new and creative ways to be with one another on this Easter day.
Sr Monica Cavanagh
Photo of the Crucifix by Alem Sánchez obtained from Pexels. Used with permission.
Photo person holding a book by cottonbro obtained from Pexels. Used with permission.