December 29, 2020
Each year, during the week between Christmas and New Years Day, I re-post the Top 7 Posts of the Year – based on the number of views each post received.
Today we have Post #4 on the Top Posts countdown. The following was originally posted Easter Sunday, April 12, 2020 and was titled, Finding Joy in Easter 2020
Happy Easter! Blessings on you and your family!
In the midst of a global pandemic, you may find it challenging to embrace Easter Sunday. Joy? Rejoice? Sing Alleluia?
COVID -19 has us stuck in a perpetual Good Friday – like Bill Murray in the movie Groundhog Day, we keep waking up to the same news of suffering and sadness. No one is exempt from the impact of this virus.
Perhaps you yourself contracted and survived the virus or have a family member that has. Perhaps you have lost someone close to you. Maybe the isolation means you have been unable to visit an elderly parent in a nursing home or been unable to hug your grandkids. You may be one of the millions of people that have been impacted financially – been laid off from your job or had to close down your business.
Stress, isolation, fear – words more closely associated with the agony experienced by Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. We can certainly relate to the words he spoke to his heavenly Father that evening: “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me.”
Which brings me to the question we often ask during times of suffering, “Where is God in all of this?”
The problem is, we tend to ask that question from a place of distance. We have already separated from Him, almost asking the question as we walk out the front door of our relationship with Him…as we are giving up.
That is our human nature. When things are going well, we take the credit. When things are not going well, we give God the blame. That comes from our need for control. Being out of control makes us uncomfortable, so we assign blame and point fingers.
God is not distant from us. He is suffering alongside us, in the midst of our brokenness.
Where is God in this? He is wherever we need him to be. If we need to be angry at Him – He is there; let Him have it. If we need comfort, He will wrap His loving arms around us. If we just need to talk, no one is a better listener. If we need to sit in silence and reflect, we can be assured that He is there.
When we need Him most, we shouldn’t turn away from Him; we should run toward Him.
While we cannot be together at Easter Sunday Mass, it is important that we participate in the virtual Masses being offered. These celebrations of the Mass connect us. Jesus is alive there. We are the Body of Christ. We are Him.
It is important to remember that there is no Easter Sunday without Good Friday. From suffering comes the hope of the Resurrection.
During this health crisis, we have heard the experts talk about flattening the curve – they are looking ahead to the day the suffering will subside and we will come out on the other side of this. The flattening of the curve is the rolling back of the stone at the entrance of the tomb.
All of the suffering Jesus endured, all of the fear and uncertainty the disciples felt, came to an end when the stone was rolled away. The suffering, fear, and uncertainty were replaced with joyful anticipation and rejoicing. There is hope! There is new life!
That is my hope and prayer for you today. This health crisis is not over. But today, on Easter Sunday, we are given a glimpse of what will be. Jesus suffered and died for us to give us the opportunity for hope.
Hope is possible; hope is within our grasp. And it is from that hope that joy and rejoicing will emerge.
That’s where God is in all of this.
Don’t walk – RUN toward Him today.
Love God. Love others. Place your trust in Him.
May God bless you – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen