The arrival of Easter this year has found us all living in a surreal landscape. The worldwide outbreak of the coronavirus has dramatically and suddenly impacted the normal course of our lives over the past several weeks. As the number of cases, the danger to our health, and the death toll have all grown, we have been starkly reminded that every life is a truly precious gift from God.
The need for isolation, social distancing, and quarantine has been challenging. While necessary for the preservation of public health, these measures have negatively affected people financially, mentally, and emotionally. In these times of uncertainty, I know there is a temptation to sink into despair.
Easter, and its message of hope, could not have arrived at a better time. For Christians the Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead is the defining moment of our faith. It is the wellspring of our eternal hope that the purity of God’s love flowing through us will overcome all things.
During Lent, I asked Catholics across the region to keep their eyes fixed on Christ the crucified and Christ the merciful as a means of inspiration to encounter the world with charity and goodwill. Today, we keep our eyes fixed on the outstretched arms of Christ the Resurrected. He inspires us to receive and to give a love that is boundless. This love is pure. It does not discriminate. It is invincible. Neither contagion nor death can conquer it.
It has been a painful, confusing, and trying time, but in Christ and His triumph on the Cross, God’s great love for us prevails. That love transcends our human understanding and is more powerful than we can comprehend. It will never fail us regardless of where life finds us. Right now, life finds us in a particularly difficult time that has slowed our world to a near stop. Yet, it has also given us an opportunity to rediscover those things that are truly important.
So, on this Easter, let us look to God with renewed hearts and minds. May His love flow through us and inspire us to encounter one another with tenderness and mercy. May that same love also strengthen us each day with the resolve to see value in ourselves and in one another. A new day will dawn and we can rebuild through Him who makes all things possible.
Please join me in praying for those who have died. May they rest in peace. Please join me in praying for those in mourning. May they find comfort. Please join me in praying for those who are sick. May they be healed. Please join me in praying for our first responders and health-care providers who are on the front lines every day battling this virus, along with our government officials who have been working so hard to ensure our safety. May they be strengthened and protected in the course of their daily work to overcome the current national health crisis.
All of us owe a debt of gratitude to those working to contain the spread of the coronavirus and eliminate the threat it poses. I extend my personal thanks to them and ask you to join me in that sentiment.
At a basic level, Easter brings hope to our lives and inspires us to take actions that build a better community and a better world through our interactions with one another. Regardless of faith tradition, all of us could use some hope and all of us have a responsibility to hold and care for one another. May this Easter season bring you that hope and inspiration and may we all find renewed peace and joy.