Moving from the Lenten season to Easter has been a totally unique experience this year. On Ash Wednesday, many of us heard that we don’t need to give up something for Lent, but instead, commit to pray more, give more and offer forgiveness, which can lead to opportunities for repentance, mercy and readiness for the resurrection to come.
Then, we heard the rumblings about a deadly virus that began in China and we prayed for those affected. How awful! How frightening for them! Then COVID-19 has gradually spread from continent to continent, country to country, state to state, and has now influenced nearly every part of our daily life and interactions.
The reality that the COVID-19 pandemic has developed during this liturgical season has not gone unnoticed. Who of us imagined all the cancellations, warnings, quarantines and disruptions to our everyday routine? It has become the norm these days to let go of events, recreational activities, school and work commitments, and many other social interactions, in order to be safe, prudent and help to slow the spread of this disease.
Yet, even in the midst of this unprecedented time in our recent history, we are called to see Christ alive in everything, experience the power of new life within creation and trust that we are truly Easter people.
Yes, there is fear and worry enough for a lifetime all around us, especially as presented in the media, but we are called to see beyond the panic and be women (and men) of faith, peace and love. We will get through this time, not because we avoid being with one another, but rather, because we are connected to one another.
This might be a good time to reflect on how this global crisis has made a difference in your life. How have you responded or reacted to those around you? Are you able to reach out to others who need some comfort and reassurance? It is times like these that can bring out the best in us, even if it means merely praying more, calling someone who is lonely, or offering assistance to those in need who might fall through the cracks due to cancellations and closures.
More than ever, we need to trust in the power of love, compassion and care for all our sisters and brothers, great and small, and know that Jesus, who overcame persecution, suffering and death for our sake, will continue to inspire us, fill us and lead us to a future full of hope and a greater acceptance of our oneness.
A blessed Easter to you and all your loved ones!
~Sister Debra Sciano, SSND