Dear Marists,We have gone away for a break. This reminds me of how Jesus would go off often by himself for some rest. Into the wilderness. By himself. After such as a crazy year of uncertainty, of Covid, of my mum being in hospital 3 times, changing jobs, of many fires in Australia and recently floods. It is good to step away from craziness. To find a space to rest.
But, for many parts of the world Covid-19 is still having a major impact on the lives of people. Here in Australia, both our state and national governments have set tight restrictions whenever a Covid community cluster appeared. Here, people could not go out of their houses either for school or work. In Victoria, the lock downs lasted many months. When people would arrive off a plane, travellers would have to live in a 14-day compulsory quarantine in government facilities. These tight restrictions have brought now zero community transmission of Covid. Whilst many parts of the world do not have the availability, ability or willingness to lock down so tightly. For example, in our northern neighbour of Papua New Guinea Covid numbers are now sky rocketing. Not mixing with family or friends is something not possible. Where not going to work might mean losing one’s job. But despite this, when going on a bus, train or ferry are we willing to take precautions to care not just for ourselves, but those around us? By wearing a mask. This might seem strange or counter cultural, but this message is from the doctors and nurses risking their lives on the front line are pleading for regular people to do.
Where is easter in a world where Covid-19 is still having a major impact? In many senses easter did not arrive for people who cannot celebrate and come together as we normally do as families or communities. Death and sickness still shadow most of the world as though Christ own death still haunts us. For people who live in this darkness they may still wait for the easter morning.
But, maybe easter did arrive and yet we did not realise it. I am not talking about the cultural practises of family easter gatherings or going to an easter service at church. But like the early disciples who doubted Mary Magdalene’s message “that the Lord has risen”. They did not believe her. In our own lives do we too, doubt? Doubt amongst the deeper truth in our own lives. That Christ has risen. In the unexpected. Our own unexpected. We are shocked and surprised in moments where easter morning light breaks through our own darkness.
Let us accept the reality of Covid-19 and our other realities which darken our minds. Like sickness, poverty or job loss. But let us be the witnesses of the easter morning light. Standing in God’s rays and morning light. Through our prayers and the way, we see our world, let us look for the impossibility of the resurrection of Christ. As the Creed says “we look for the resurrection of the dead”. We are still looking. Let us be the one’s open to the search and the wonder of God in creation. Living the reality of suffering but with Christs spirit newly alive in us today.
Dear God, Shape us into the people of the resurrection. The people that bring hope. The people that care for the needy. The people who proclaim “Christ is risen”. Risen in us. Risen in our communities. Risen in the world this day. Amen.