An Easter Message is supposed to be a joyful message. Can there be joy when we have heard that the Enhanced Community Quarantine has been extended till the end of April? Can there be joy when the resources of many people have dwindled while the quarantine continues? Can there be joy when the news continues to speak about new infections and new deaths?
The joy of Easter is not a joy because there are no problems. It is a joy which surprises all of us, because when God acts, he acts in unexpected ways. In spite of the announcement of the Lord Jesus that he would rise again, the idea of the resurrection did not register among his disciples. So when Jesus was killed and buried, for the disciples, Jesus is over. He is dead. So when they saw the tomb empty, their first thought was, who took his body? And when they finally saw him, they were afraid. They thought they were seeing a ghost! Jesus had to assure them that it was he. He had to show them his wounded hands and side. He had to eat in front of them. The resurrection was totally unexpected to the disciples.
Easter for us this year is also totally unexpected. Not only because we are not able to do what we usually do on Easter—go to the Salubong, attend Mass, and celebrate with friends. As at the first Easter, are we open to be surprised by God? We do not know what will happen in the coming three weeks. We do not know what will be our life after the lock down. Surely, many things will change. What will they be? Of this we are sure, though: we will rise up from this pandemic. We will rise up, hopefully not to go back to our former way of life. We will rise up stronger and more confident. We will rise up with greater care for our health and 2 our families. We will rise up strengthened in our relationships. Most especially, we will rise up with greater trust in our God who never leaves us and who sustains us in difficult times. Let us allow ourselves to be surprised by God.
The resurrection tells us that God is faithful. He is powerful. He overcomes evil and even death. This gives us hope and joy. We can say this with greater conviction this year. The quarantine period was hard, but we have lived through it renewed and with new realizations in life. It has given us new life. Let not the monotony of the quarantine put off the joy of Easter. The basis of this joy is not what we can do, but that the Risen Jesus is with us. He is acting among us and renewing us. Because of him, we shall overcome!
May this Easter give us greater trust and hope. Jesus is risen! He is with us! We will overcome! We will live a new life with Jesus! Happy Easter to you all.