Easter 2020

A new light dawns

Sunday 12 April 2020 | Taizé

With grim news besetting us every day, we ask God to come to the help of our humanity, tested not only by the havoc of the coronavirus, but also by so much other suffering. We entrust to God all who have fallen ill, their loved ones and those who care for them.

We are imploring God. But let us be careful not to withdraw into our anguish by simply waiting for this ordeal to pass and for everything to return to the way it was before. We implore God, but God is also imploring us – God wants to be heard. God could well be saying to us: “Wake up!”

Not that God would punish humanity. No, never! God is the God of compassion, close to every person. God “can only give love” according to the words of a believer from the East in the 7th century, Isaac of Nineveh, which Brother Roger often repeated.

Yes, God loves each one of us. It is because God loves us that God speaks to us. Does not God want to say to us: “See how much you depend on one another, on people you are close to, but also between countries and populations. See how much you need sister and brotherhood. See how much the care of creation is a must for your future.”.

The pandemic that is attacking us suddenly highlights the need for far-reaching changes in our societies. Staggering sums of money continue to be spent, for example, on arms, whereas a tiny part of this amount would be enough to restore human dignity to so many people who are deprived of it..

Many people are boldly rising to the challenge of solidarity. They give themselves so that, in the face of the epidemic, life may go on, sometimes at the risk of their health or their own lives.

Yes, the ordeal we are going through contains a call to sister and brotherhood and many know how to respond to it. But, beyond that, what could be the light brought by the Easter message today?

On Easter morning, Mary Magdalene came to the apostles with the news that the tomb was empty. We can imagine the fear that gripped them. To the disaster of the shameful death of Jesus on the cross is added a calamity: his body has been made to disappear. It is as if every trace of the great hope that Jesus had aroused vanished. Peter and John rush to the scene. Arriving at the tomb, Peter looks on and remains puzzled. The other disciple "sees and believes"

What is it that so spontaneously moves this disciple to faith? How can he recognize at the empty tomb that Jesus has risen? We will never know. The only clue is that, at this very moment, he seems to understand something of Scripture. Does he suddenly remember a word like the one in the Psalm: "You cannot let your faithful one see death"? Does he say to himself in front of the empty tomb: but yes, I hadn’t thought about that, I hadn’t quite got it?

The resurrection of Jesus is a reality that is beyond our comprehension; it cannot be explained rationally, but it opens up an uncharted horizon. Sickness, violence and death no longer have the last word. A new light dawns. Not only does it completely change the way we perceive life, but it transforms those who embrace it and liberates in them undreamt-of energies. It leads the disciples of Jesus to form a community that radiates the very life of God.

The isolation that is imposed on us is very difficult for many people - I am thinking of people who are alone, of families who live in a very small space, of those who are cut off from their loved ones, of the homeless. May this isolation, however, not restrict our horizons. May the Easter message open us to new dimensions, which are large and wide.

In prayer, even if it is poor, we can welcome the light of the paschal message. We can discover that changing our personal and collective behaviour is possible, in view of another future for us and for humanity. We can let the necessary imagination rise within us in order to put new solidarities into practice.

The Risen One sends his disciples out into the entire world, not to bring all humanity into one religious system, but to make their lives radiate the hope of peace on earth and a wholeness for all creation.

And so, may we let ourselves be taken hold of by the Paschal light and greet one another with this Easter morning news: “Christ is risen! —Yes, he is risen indeed!”

Brother Alois

Last updated: 12 April 2020