From the Pastor's Pen: Easter Sunday
Easter is an event that has shattered the world as we know it. Its beginnings were very small, imperceptible. The Easter Resurrection grew over time to become an event that changes the way we live. It affects every corner of our lives. We ignore it at our own peril. Something so far-reaching will affect us even if we choose not to be attentive. We can live with awareness of Easter, fashioning our living in its light; or we can disregard it, which risks danger to our life and the life of our family and community.
Now there is a key to the above message. Try this: for every word that says “Easter”, “Resurrection”, or the “its” that refer to them, substitute the phrase “Covid-19 virus.” This is not meant to put Easter in a dark light, or in any way to make light of the virus. It’s to show that this disease raging throughout the world in an unprecedented way, actually has a world-shaking, life-changing event that preceded it and still dwarfs it. If we let it.
The Resurrection of Jesus is the most powerful event that has happened since creation itself. All our growth in evangelization as a community leads us, in every way, at every opportunity, to proclaim the core of this message as Pope Francis wrote in The Joy of the Gospel no. 36: “The beauty of the saving love of God made manifest in Jesus Christ who died and rose from the dead.”
Typically we have visitors to our community at Easter in our church services. This year, any visitors will be people who visit our website to see this bulletin, or who view our livestreamed Easter liturgy services. We do, in any way that we’re able to right now, welcome you and proclaim this joyful message.
We are a conforming community: each time guidelines for safety have been rolled out by the federal, state or local level, and by our Archbishop, we have moved to comply. I let it be known early that anyone in our community not complying, e.g. in the use of our facilities, would forfeit being able to use them in the future. I have stuck closely to the limitations on any gatherings, and to social distancing in our limited church hours. This is because, as the appointed shepherd and guardian of this community, I rely, not on my own judgements, but on those with wisdom and authority over all of us, to do all I can to safeguard the lives and wellbeing of each in our community. I have never had to exercise leadership in this way before, but I accept it as my current responsibility. I’ve done this even when asked to ignore the rules or let up on some part of the regulations. Being a shepherd can mean saving people from themselves, and from endangering others.
And I say all this with profound faith that the greatest event in our world today is not some disease. It is the Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, renewing all of creation. This is an event we dare not disregard, nor fail to get every bit of life out of it that it offers us.