Easter is the celebration of the Lord’s resurrection from the dead, culminating in His Ascension to the Father and sending of the Holy Spirit upon the Church. There are 50 days of Easter from the first Sunday to Pentecost. It is characterized, above all, by the joy of glorified life and the victory over death, expressed most fully in the great resounding cry of Alleluia!
We are in the midst of a global pandemic as COVID-19 continues to spread. During this time, our work, social and spiritual lives have been disrupted as offices close, public gatherings are restricted and the public celebration of Masses are suspended. The numbers of people infected and dying rises daily.
But do not fret — there is light through the darkness, a hope that Easter brings.
Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles and president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, in a statement for Holy Week, wrote that “future generations will look back on this as the long Lent of 2020, a time when disease and death suddenly darkened the whole earth.”
“But we know that our Redeemer lives. Even in this extraordinary and challenging moment, we give thanks for what Jesus Christ has done for us by His life, death, and resurrection. Even now, we marvel at the beautiful mystery of our salvation, how precious each one of us is in the eyes of God,” Archbishop Gomez stated.
Archbishop Gomez earlier noted that with the worldwide outbreak of the coronavirus, we are confronted once more with the fragility of our lives, and again we are reminded of our common humanity; that the peoples of this world are our brothers and sisters, that we are all one family under God.
This is a time to draw closer to one another in our love for God and rediscover the things that truly matter in our lives. We pray for people around the world who are sick, those who have lost loved ones to the virus and all the health care workers.
The word “Easter” comes from Old English, meaning simply the “East.” The sun which rises in the East, bringing light, warmth and hope, is a symbol for the Christian of the rising Christ, who is the true Light of the world.
Archbishop Robert J. Carlson also provided hope and cited the light of Christ in a talk at the blessing of a crucifix and an apostolic blessing April 3 tied to the
COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. He stated: “The Lord is always near, caring for all, listening to prayers and giving the peace we need.”
Dan Grumich, president of Trinity Catholic High School, recently wrote to the school community and pointed out that “it seems we can’t go an hour without hearing about the suffering and death directly related to the virus, not to mention the long-term indirect affects this crisis is having on our world. While there is no denying the tragedy around us, we are also witnessing the triumph of spirit, the resilience of mankind and the overwhelming care and concern individuals are displaying for each other.”
Christ has risen, and His light shines through darkness. Now is the time for those experiencing darkness to seek Him to dispel the gloom.