COVID19 and the Miracle of Easter
An Easter reflection by Fr. Ron
A lot has changed in so little time. You are not listening to Fr. Ron’s homily at the church, you are reading this in confinement at your home. You may be with family or you may be completely alone. As I have said from the beginning of this crisis, God can speak through any and all circumstances – all we need do is listen. To listen better, we need to first turn off the noise. We do fill up our lives with noise, don’t we? The noise of so many activities, of so many devices, of so much pursuing “more” in our lives.
So, what does this have to do with the miracle of Easter? Well, after Jesus died, he was laid in the tomb. In the upper room, his mother, his friends, and his disciples were CUT OFF from His presence. They were in confinement. They couldn’t stand it. Their whole reality had changed. All the plans they previously had were now for nothing. The man they always looked to for answers, was no longer there. Nothing seemed the same. Everything that seemed so important and urgent no longer mattered anymore.
Think about it: weddings, First Communions, trips, stock market investments, restaurants, shopping centers, new clothes, projects, bars, sporting events, concerts, theaters, EVERTHING IS NOW TURNED OFF.
So where was the beauty of the miracle of Easter? Well, simply put, Jesus came back. Jesus broke through the confinement! A confinement that was imposed by death itself. He was reunited with his friends and family, and all that mattered after his return, was that he was ALIVE! He was present. He was there. Alleluia!!! Not even death could tear him away from those who believed in him because he smashed the doors of death once and for ALL! All of us.
But don’t forget there was a time of confinement. All the praying, all the human interventions, all the powers of earth could not change God’s will. Friday, Saturday, and then Sunday! Three days. We are still waiting for our three days to end, even though it may be something more than even 30. But it will end. COVID19 is akin to death and even though it is deadly, it is not an undefeatable foe.
Yes, the time of confinement will end. We are people of faith and hope. We know that the goodness of many people will assure us a victory. We know that God is with them and God is with us too. You do know that, don’t you? I do.
But after it ends, will we just go back to like it was before? Is that our goal? Our dream? Our hope?
When Jesus was reunited with His disciples, they were changed forever by the experience. They could never go back to the way it was before because God transformed them by the power of the resurrection.
Will we benefit from this “down” time? Will we appreciate more what we have? Will we be more grateful and less critical? Will we recognize the fragility of our world and of our lives? Will we reach out to others more, especially the refugee, the immigrant, and the victims of poverty and oppression?
There is one lesson that we must NOT ignore from the unwanted teacher: COVID19.
There WILL BE another confinement. It is certain. When? When we die and leave this earth, we will be separated again from all of our loved ones. However, we who believe in the power of the Resurrection will be also reunited to Christ. We will be with all the saints, angels, and all the good souls who have already made their journey. Why? Because we BELIEVE. I do believe, do you?
Maybe Hell is simply be separated from everyone for all eternity. Hmmmm..
The miracle of Easter is the miracle of life, life eternal, love, and community. May its hope sustain us all and give us the strength we need until that day we can be together again. Amen Happy Easter from your pastor, Fr. Ron..