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Pandemic Easter

Updated: May 22, 2021

“Let us open ourselves to the light of the Lord; He always awaits.” This invitation came to us from Pope Francis on the Fourth Sunday of Lent. Open yourself to the light of the Lord! He is awaiting you!

Pope Francis on the 4th Sunday of Lent

These words have come to me often during the last weeks of Lent; and resounded even more fully throughout Holy Week and the Triduum. The liturgies of this time that in the past have brought us such comfort as we gathered to welcome Christ, the Light of the World and to celebrate his Resurrection; his conquering of death. Yet, this year has been very different as we continue to live in isolation, apart from our traditional liturgies, apart from the Sacraments. Our physical isolation, lived perhaps with family members, or in total isolation for those who live alone gives us pause to reflect on this Christ Who is the Light; this Christ who awaits us.

How beautifully He prepared our world for a time such as this! Many oases of virtual Masses, rosary groups, retreats, formative talks, and so forth have been provided in our Eucharistic desert. While these virtual events cannot replace our sacramental life, they provide an aid to persevering in living our faith. So, for those of us already engaged in the faith, these resources may have strengthened us and kept us going through those difficult weeks of Lent. They also provided opportunities to share these treasures with those who may be searching for Christ – even if they did not know it. Digital missionaries are able to reach so many more folks in a short period of time and provide something to meet the many and diverse needs of souls searching for fulfillment; searching for Christ.

Easter has always been a time to truly celebrate Christ and his resurrection; the reason for our faith. One of my favourite liturgies is the Easter Vigil as it contains so many elements of our faith and of salvation history. It opens with the lighting of the parish’s baptismal candle and the invitation for us to open ourselves to the light of the Lord. We are reminded of our own baptism and the call to evangelize as we renew our baptismal promises. We used our baptismal candles as we celebrated the Vigil at home this year. This made the renewal of promises a little more intentional for my family, and brought to mind our continued responsibility to be his light in our world.

Some of the ways this light may shine through may happen as you pray for the intentions of another during a virtual Mass or rosary. It may appear as you engage in discussion with others during a virtual conference, or as you prayerfully attend a formative talk. He always awaits. He longs to be united with each soul he has created. May he reach many through this time of pandemic and enforced isolation. May many find hope through these abundant resources and not fall into despair and fear. Be attentive to posts of friends, family, or even strangers on your social media. Reach out and be Christ’s light giving hope and encouragement. The world of social media has been very impersonal and allowed for much negative behaviour in the past. This Easter Season make it a place where Christ can touch his people.

Be safe. Stay healthy. Know that he is calling each of us into his light by name and he always awaits us. Let us keep one another in prayer and always rejoice for he is risen. Alleluia!

Written by Deb D’Ettore

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