“Let us not keep our faces bowed to the ground in fear, but raise our eyes to the risen Jesus. His gaze fills us with hope, for it tells us that we are loved unfailingly, and that however much we make a mess of things, his love remains unchanged. This is the one, non-negotiable certitude we have in life: his love does not change.” (Pope Francis)
Yes, my friends, God is love and His love is demonstrated by His Son’s Resurrection. In this time of crisis, let us turn to the risen Lord. He is our hope, our light and our salvation.
The German statesman Konrad Adenauer said, “The most important thing in the world is the resurrection of Jesus Christ. If Jesus is alive, then there is hope for the world. If He is still in the grave, then there isn’t the slightest glimmer of hope on the horizon.”
Jesus is alive. He has triumphed over death.
We are still under stay-at-home measures, and as the number of cases of infection and deaths due to COVID-19 rise around the world, now, more than ever, Christian hope should remind us that the risen Lord has not left us to fend for ourselves.
Though we may be going through difficult times in T&T/the world, and the darkness threatens to overwhelm us, let us hold on to our faith and believe that He will deliver us from this terrible virus that stalks the world.
As Paul says in Romans 5:5: “Hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us”.
On my return from London on March 22, I was in self-quarantine for two weeks, having signed a form at the airport to comply with the instructions given.
That seemed to have been the longest two weeks in my life! I felt for the person who posted on Facebook: “I ate 11 times today, I had 5 naps, and it’s still today!” Anyone who knows me know that I am a ‘hot foot’, so just the thought of not being able to venture out, was trying.
I prayed, followed online worship services, communicated with others via various digital platforms, produced various reports for work, but still, I just wanted to go out!
So, I turned to the Psalms e.g. Psalm 42:11: “Why so downcast, my soul, why do you sigh within me? Put your hope in God, I shall praise him yet, my saviour, my God.”
I thank my sister, Kamala, for sending me food during this difficult time—all the way from Maraval. The driver would drop the cooked food outside my garage gate and call to let me know that he had delivered the bag!
Thanks also to my neighbour, Maria, who offered to assist in any way that she could. Although I told her that I had food, she treated me to some of her homemade savoury scones and some tasty sautéed grouper!
What the COVID-19 pandemic has done is to bring humanity closer together in many ways. Lea Kabiljo, Montreal, rightly wrote: “We may be separated, but COVID-19 is bringing us closer…amid the severity of the situation and the bad news we are getting every minute, a beautiful thing is also occurring as a result of the current crisis.
“We are beginning to realise that the virus does not differentiate when it comes to religion, race or social status…We are realising that we are all in this together. As a result, we are becoming increasingly caring and kinder toward each other.
“We are checking in on each other. Neighbours are helping each other. On social media, community support groups are popping up like mushrooms after the rain. Strangers are offering services to deliver groceries to those isolated at home… The list goes on. Acts of kindness surround us in these difficult times. They do not necessarily make front-page news, but they are certainly there.”
In today’s gospel (Jn 20:1–9), we read that when Mary of Magdala came to the tomb, she saw that the stone had been moved away from the tomb.
Our hope must be that the Lord will move the stones from our hearts that stand as obstacles in our way and keep us from being salt of the earth and light of the world.
On this Easter Sunday, let us reflect on the impact of Christ’s Resurrection in our lives and resolve to live by gospel values.
By Leela Ramdeen
Chair, CCSJ & Director, CREDI