Meditation by Brother Alois

Easter 2021 | The Source of a New Hope

Sunday 4 April 2021 | Taizé, Church of Reconciliation

Welcome to all of you present in Taizé on this Easter day. It is good that we can be together, united in prayer, at a time when a new period of travel restrictions in France is beginning as a result of the pandemic. I would also like to extend a very warm welcome to those who are following us this morning via internet, in different countries of the world.

At Easter, we are invited to a crossing, a Passover, that seems to be beyond all human reason—the crossing from distress to hope. It was a woman who was the first to experience this crossing on Easter morning: Mary of Magdala, who led the disciples of Jesus to it... and us in her wake.

The morning had not yet dawned. Yet Mary was already on the move. While it was still dark, outdoors and in her heart, she felt, perhaps confusedly, that she had to go back and be close to the one who had changed her life one day.

While the disciples of Jesus locked themselves up out of fear, her choice to go to the tomb was undoubtedly a way for her to remember him, but it also expressed an expectation. It was her love for Jesus that inspired this expectation, which the greatest suffering could not completely eliminate.

As the first witness to the stone rolled away from the entrance to the tomb, she ran to Simon Peter and the other disciple to tell them what she had seen. They, in turn, ran to see that what she said was true, but then they returned to their homes, while Mary, still according to John’s Gospel, remained in that garden where the Risen Lord would soon come to meet her.

May we in our turn allow ourselves to be touched by the joy of the resurrection! Alone we cannot believe it; it is so unimaginable. But together we can listen to the inconceivable news that Mary, and then the apostles, announced on Easter day: Christ is alive!

This astounding news of Easter morning is inseparable from what preceded it, and which we have recalled in the last few days: Christ Jesus went down to the lowest point of suffering in order to open up for all humanity a way to God his Father.

How then, risen from the dead, could he not have an overflowing love for those who cannot believe in the existence of God, because suffering paralyses in them the impulse to trust? Far from being idealistic, the joy of Easter makes us open and sensitive to those who suffer. Humbly Christ says to us, "I share your trials and doubts; I would like to go through them with you."

The pandemic and its long-lasting consequences, which keep on tormenting us, require us to persevere in trust. I am thinking in particular of those who are ill, of the families who have lost a loved one, of the courageous caregivers. I am also thinking of all those who are going through this difficult period in solitude.

At a time when our world is being tested by so much suffering, and when a fine human hope is so often shaken, it seems to me especially important to pray together, to feel that we are in communion, close to one another, in friendship.

In the face of the suffering and challenges of the present time, the Gospel enables us to discover the source of a brand-new hope. Let us not allow it to evaporate. Will we let ourselves be touched by the presence of the Risen Christ who, in the joys and sorrows of our lives, reaches out to each and every one of us?

This morning, our brother Jérémie will make a lifelong commitment as a brother of our community. This is an encouragement for all of us to place our trust in Christ. Yes, we would like to love Christ and express it by our lives.

Printed from: - 29 September 2023
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