As we prepare to celebrate Easter 2020, finally the world is united. We are united in fear of what tomorrow will bring, of not knowing if our societies will withstand the devastating impact of the Coronavirus pandemic and if we or our family members will survive this terrible moment.
We are in the garden of Gethsemane with the disciples and our faith is being badly shaken. Many of us are suffering and are tempted to feel that we have nowhere to turn as science, our governments and the knowledge we have developed to this point in history offer us no solutions.
The pandemic is making the suffering of vulnerable people – migrants and refugees, the elderly, the sick, the poor and unemployed – even deeper. We urge our governments to ensure access to healthcare and social protection for everyone – particularly the most vulnerable. We pray that our leaders rise to the challenge of promoting unity and a shared responsibility in all of our countries.
“The COVID-19 pandemic, which has affected the whole world, is also affecting the way Easter is to be celebrated.”
Though we cannot fill the streets with processions, or express and share our Easter joy in church, we still share the mystery of Easter in our homes. “Yet, despite these traumatic and painful situations, the message of Easter continues to be a joyful one of courage and hope. “Easter is a reminder and encouragement that God in Christ continues to love and care for the whole world, overcoming death with life, conquering fear and uncertainty with hope.”
The Easter message also conveys that our God is a loving God, the source of life, not death.
At this point in history, this turning point which is throwing our lives and societies into chaos, can each of us have the honesty and courage to say “I alone do not have the answer”? Can our governments admit that many of them got it wrong when they didn’t allow everyone to belong to the human family in a dignified way? Can our societies put aside economic concerns and show that they care for everyone without exception?
In the midst of loss, uncertainty and suffering, something incredible is happening: we are noticing the bonds which form our human family. Bonds that we previously took for granted or ignored. As we live in isolation and we all become marginalised and vulnerable, the global suffering we are seeing has made it startlingly apparent to us that we need other people and other people need us too.
I wish you all an Easter of love and peace.
Yours in Christ.