An Easter like no other

An Easter like no other

I will not hide it. My heart feels some sadness and melancholy this Easter Sunday. The quarantine and the lockdown is still on. The numbers of those affected by the pandemic continues to rise, and the USA has become the country with the highest number of those infected by the virus, about 500,000 persons at this time.

Where we are (Southern California) has been rainy and gloomy and cold this past week, except for for a few moments when the sun was out. I guess this has contributed to the melancholy. Today, Easter Sunday is no exception. It is a gloomy day.

These are times which makes one remember CFC comrades and friends who fell in the dark night of this pandemic. The bells have tolled for them. We remember them with sadness, we grieve, and pray for their souls and for the families they left behind.

We also do not forget the brave ones who are still battling this virus. We pray that they retain their will to fight on, and eventually that they are healed and will recover.

These are indeed times like no other.

At the same time though, these are times for thanksgiving. We are thankful that we are still healthy, that we have a home to stay during this lockdown, and a family to spend the time with, food to eat and water to drink each day, and internet and phones that allow us to communicate with others outside our homes. We are grateful that there are still doctors, nurses and medical staff manning our hospitals with adequate medicines to treat those who are sick, and that there are those who are still working to provide various services needed. We are thankful we have a community that continue to regularly meet for prayers online; that there is a government and other volunteer groups who are helping plan and implement ways for our welfare. Let us recognize these blessings, and thank the Lord, for there are many who lack these.

With the family, we listened to the Easter Urbi et Orbi message of Pope Francis earlier today, and for some reason, I was filled with emotion. Perhaps, because the words of our Shepherd were honest, forthright in accepting the reality of sufferings brought about by this pandemic, but also reminded us of the truth of Jesus rising from the dead that give us assurance of his continuing love even in these difficult times. Our faith and hope were strengthened. Jesus will never leave us. The Pope shared words of joy that also brought tears to some, as they stirred our deepest longing for a peaceful and harmonious life that has been disturbed by this virus.

This Easter is like no other. There are no big Easter parties with easter egg hunts and other activities we used to do. We have discovered that we really do not need these extraneous traditions. For we have found what really matters, the substance of the meaning of Easter – the Resurrection of Christ and His love for us that never dies. That is enough. We need not look for anything more.

I still feel somewhat melancholy, but strengthened. Easter will not and cannot be stopped. Nothing can stop the love of God for His people. We will not allow the pandemic nor the rain and gloomy days to define our lives. What is truly important is our relationship with Jesus and His love for us. Thus, there is and will always be reason to celebrate.

Happy Easter everyone!