Easter Message 2021

From Fr. Baby Ellickal
Provincial Superior

The celebration of Easter this year takes place in a very different way, a virtual way, behind closed doors, with people present by radio, TV, webcams and social media. The message of Easter is the same as it has been from the beginning, Christ is Risen, Alleluia. In these days it is a proclamation of hope in the midst of restrictions, hope in the midst of fear and hope in the midst of illness and death. We have great hope in the risen Jesus Christ, he is with us, to encourage, to strengthen and to console.
For all of us, certainly, these are the worst of times: people are suffering, and dying, from viral infection; many confined to their own homes are feeling isolated, frustrated or helpless; there is widespread anxiety about loss of income, lack of food, separation from loved ones; and, as always, the vulnerable are those who bear the heaviest burden. Perhaps most heart-breaking of all are the deaths and burials where family and friends are physically unable to be present to honour the departed and to comfort one another.
Churches and communities are reinventing themselves, turning outwards to care for those who are most in need. Compassion, kindness and common sense are being created online in imaginative and unexpected ways. We are realising as a nation that actually we quite like one another, and maybe are not so divided as we thought.We also have great hope in humanity. We are grateful to all who have carefully gone out to serve, those on the front line in hospitals and in the variety of essential services, leaders who make wise decisions and researchers who seek a vaccine.As we face into the uncertainties that lie ahead, out hope shines brightly, and our determination to return to our places of work and to live without fear is strong. The experience of the essential restrictions and lock down teaches us that we wish to go out, we wish to be with people, to meet up, to chat and to enjoy company. The Easter Message has its origin in the dark days of Jesus’ suffering and then blossoms into the Good News of resurrection. Our hope is firm; it is based in Jesus Christ and in the goodness of humanity.
We believe that through his life and ministry, Jesus identifies with and comes alongside us in our suffering, and offers comfort, love and healing in all we are going through.In the midst of grief, we see emerging signs of hope and signs of new life. It can seem impossible, even insensitive, to talk of hope when people are sick or dying, anxious or isolated, unemployed or otherwise burdened. We have been through plagues before. Some have been devastating. But eventually they pass. After Good Friday comes Easter, after the tomb, new life.In raising Jesus to life God shows that there is no power stronger than the love which joins us together and gives us a hope which can never be defeated.
I pray that you are kept safe and well this Easter, and that you know joy in your heart.

Fraternally in the Risen Lord

Fr. Baby Ellickal MI

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