Kia tau te rangimarie ki a koutou,
Last Easter my two sisters and my brothers-in-law came to stay with me for Easter. It was the first time for just over 40 years that we had been together for Easter. A couple of days ago we said to each other “who would ever have thought that Easter one year later would be this different?”
Our circumstances, because of Covid 19, are very different this year. However, the mysteries we participate in are the same. Jesus still shows us the way to the Father, and we prayerfully follow him this week through his Passion amid the Coronavirus challenges.
Jesus’ way to the Father was a way of humility and obedience to God: “If it is possible, let this cup pass me by. Nevertheless, let it be as you, not I, would have it.” (Matthew 26:39)
In the events of this week we will see that the way of Jesus is the way of the Servant, of self-giving and sharing. He gives himself in foot-washing service, in the gift of his Body and Blood, on the cross of suffering. How do we “copy his example?” (John 13:15)
We learn on Good Friday that the way of Jesus is the way of silence. He stands before the High Priest in silence, confident that he has done no wrong and that he is “the Beloved Son of God” (Luke 9:35). This silence will tell us too that we are the beloved daughters and sons of God.
The Easter Vigil will be totally different. God will renew his promise to us, the promise that though Baptism we are his people and he is our God, that in Jesus he comes to us so that “We might have life and have it to the full” (John 10:10).
In the Easter silence of this Lockdown we will discover new life. As Thomas Merton once wrote “Every rising morning is a promise of Christ’s glorious rising”. God’s promise will be kept.
I hope that despite the uncertainties we face, that this Easter will be a prayerful time for all. Pray for one another as we follow Jesus, as we follow his way of humiliation, service, suffering, abandonment, dying and rising.
This could well be our most prayerful Easter.
With love and blessings