Wish you all the Peace and Joy of Easter!
The Easter season brings to us renewed hope in the midst of death and lifelessness that surrounds us in the pandemic Covid-19 times. Covid-19 has affected worldwide without leaving any one whether one is rich or poor, young or old, male or female, white or black, believer or non-believer, Easterner or Westerner making no difference. Human life at this period of times is under the spell of corona virus and no human efforts could bring about peaceful solution to the life and death issue we face. Human efforts through science and technology remain non-solving to issues created by the virus; prayers remain unanswered and the future remains bleak. Celebrating Easter at the pandemic times is a challenge to renew our own ways of life from its normal customary ways to a new art of living.
Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, in his The Fifteen Mysteries of the Holy Rosary, says, “Our Lord spent thirty years of His life obeying, three years teaching, three hours redeeming! But how did He redeem? Suppose a golden chalice is stolen from an altar and beaten into a large ash tray. Before that gold can be returned to the altar, it must be thrown into a fire, where the dross is burned away; then the chalice must be recast, and finally blessed and restored to its holy use. Sinful man is like that chalice which was delivered over to profane uses. He lost his Godlike resemblance and his high destiny as a child of God. So our blessed Lord took unto Himself a human nature, making it stand for all of us, plunged it into the fires of Calvary to have the dross of sin burned and purged away. Then, by rising from the dead, He became the new head of the new humanity, according to which we are all to be patterned. The cross reveals that unless there is a Good Friday in our lives, there will never be an Easter Sunday. Unless there is a crown of thorns, there will never be the halo of light. Unless there is the scourged body, there will never be a glorified one. Death to the lower self is the condition of resurrection to the higher self. The world says to us, as it said to Him on the cross: ‘Come down, and we will believe!’ But if He came down, He never would have saved us. It is human to come down; it is divine to hang there. A broken heart, O Saviour of the world, is love’s best cradle! Smite my own, as Moses did the rock, that Thy love may enter in!” Human ways of looking at the suffering, crucifixion and death of Jesus will definitely fail us but approaching the mystery of Christ’s suffering, crucifixion and death from the Easter perspectives instil hope in us. Thus Easter remains a mystery of hope above all that earthily life can tell us.
Corona virus affected world brings us stories of human suffering and death day after day. No matter how dear we are to each other we can’t be with the affected by corona virus. The imperative of social distancing, mandated by the corona virus, made us acutely aware of how central touch is in our lives. Everyone is considered potential carrier of the invisible virus. We could no longer reach out to touch others or touch our faces with our hands (rapidly realizing how often we did just that).
The alarming corona spread invites us to look at our lives from a new perspective. A ‘new art of living’ must be adopted to approach life from novel perspectives i.e., social distancing doesn’t have to mean social disconnecting. On the other hand stay connected to people around the world and communicate to the world through innovative technologies. Thanks to social media and networking platforms! Social interactions through media, haptic journeys, teletherapies, spiritual liturgies, synesthetic happenings are new art of living. Many events have been enabled by technology that allows spatially separated participants to meet in common space. The opening up of alternative public health therapies via technology added a new dimension to telemedicine, representing yet another creative response to Covid-19. All these reveal the capacity of human imagination to explore the new possibilities that open to the new vista of life.
Corona Age has brought in many novel possibilities of human living within the pandemic world itself. This marks a leap of hope as we celebrate the feast of hope in this season of Easter. Significantly, we have sailed across to a new period of time in the history of our Congregation in bringing about definite changes through new leadership and changes of ministry and evangelization. General Election and Provincial Election and transfers make this change visible and effective to our living circumstances. Although one may feel that Covid-19 is a period of lethargy and inactivity our senses must be open to the creative potentials of our life and activity. Our sense of hope must be oriented towards the human flourishing and the vitality of humanity. This is only possible by fixing the humanity within me i.e., our commitment towards every other in proximity. Our ministry and life must witness to this new ‘art of living’ coping up with the current panic situation of the world. We must be able to transcend the worldly tomb and its limitation to the newness of life brought about by Jesus’ resurrection. Life must resurrect to its newness where we are made into a new creation in the Risen Lord!