How can we not talk about the Coronavirus (COVID-19) that has impacted our country and our world? This virus entered our world, our lives and has tested our preparedness to its attack and to its forceful presence. For many, a house built on sand is sufficient: the hand sanitizer, the mask and food supplies. For others, the concern is more profound. For them, a house built on sand is not the answer. They prefer, at a time like this, to build their house on rock, on the Lord.
It is clear to me why on many occasions Pope Francis reminds us to not be afraid, to be courageous children of God. It is because the pope has the full understanding and knowledge that there is only one who is all knowing and all powerful, God almighty. Scripture tells us not to be afraid of the one who can only kill the body, but to be afraid of the one who can kill both body and soul and throw it into Gehenna; that One is God almighty.
Jesus entered this world, our world for the sole purpose of winning salvation for human beings. His birth, his baptism and presentation into the church were all part of his preparation for his challenging passion and death. Jesus was ready to face and to overcome the smallest and largest of challenges that would come his way because He had full confidence in the power of the One who had sent him to earth. Jesus was focused on a successful mission. He was going to persevere to the end.
Throughout his life on earth, Jesus brought hope and new life to all the people he met on the way. People returned with a stronger faith; they were more courageous; they were more charitable and loving; they were more respectful of others and were more patient. The sacrifice Jesus made was for a better life for us. Many parents have learned the lesson too, as they would say to their children: “The sacrifice I am making now is for a better life for you.” The children now must appreciate the sacrifice their parents made for them and embrace all the opportunities provided them to live a better life.
The Season of Easter reminds us of the great love God has for us, his children. What is greater than love, God’s love for us? In his Decree Letter in time of COVID-19, Cardinal Sarah writes: “Easter is the heart of the entire liturgical year, and is not simply one feast among others.”(In Spanish, “No es una fiesta como las demas.”) Nothing, no one, can ignore or put a damper on Easter joy, on Easter newness. The sadness of the disciples of Jesus was turned to instant joy when they received the resurrection news; when they saw the risen Christ; when they shared a meal with Him who is the resurrection and life.
The greatest gift of all has been provided to us. The Decree in time of COVID-19 continues to say, “Easter gives meaning to all other Seasons.” Easter gives meaning to our lives as we are confronted with this pandemic. Says the closing line of a prayer for the end of the pandemic, “We will get through this together.” This line is saying that we are a hopeful people; that we are Easter people; that Easter is always before us who believe in the Lord of Easter.
Even though we may not be rich in the eyes of the world, we, the new disciples of Jesus know and believe that Easter is here. In the spirit of our poverty we too can proclaim that He has risen and that He lives. What more do we need when we have the resurrection and life? Easter gives meaning not only to all other seasons in the Church, but it gives all meaning to life and to living. Alleluia!