From the Deacon’s Desk: Prayer and Inspirational Thoughts
April 12 – Easter Sunday
At the Easter Vigil we transition from total darkness, gradually into light; a light ushered in by the Paschal Candle and the Easter Proclamation known as the Exsultet. “Be glad, let earth be glad, as glory floods her, ablaze with light from her eternal king. Let all corners of the earth be glad, knowing an end to gloom and darkness.” Easter ushers in newness of life, hope and great mercy! But it is hard to see this year. And yet, we know the hope of Christ and hear his words, “DO NOT BE AFRAID!” Perhaps this year, more than any other we have experienced, connects us more closely to those first Christians than ever before. A friend reminded me of this with this note:
“The very first Easter was not in a crowded worship space with singing and praising. On the very first Easter the disciples were locked in their house. It was dangerous for them to come out. They were afraid. They wanted to believe the good news they heard from the women, that Jesus had risen. But it seemed too good to be true. They were living in a time of such despair and such fear. If they left their homes their lives and the lives of their loved ones might be at risk. Could a miracle really have happened? Could life really had won out over death? Could this time of terror and fear really be coming to an end?
Alone in their homes they dared to believe that hope was possible, that the long night was over and morning had broken, that God’s love was the most powerful of all, even though it didn’t seem quite real yet. Eventually, they were able to leave their homes, when the fear and danger had subsided, they went around celebrating and spreading the good news that Jesus was risen and love was the most powerful force on the earth.”
“This year, we might get to experience a taste of what that first Easter was like, still in our homes daring to believe that hope is on the horizon. Then, after a while, when it is safe for all people, when it is the most loving choice, we will come out, gathering together, singing and shouting the good news that God brings life even out of death, that love always has the final say!”
As Vincentians, we have a special responsibility to push past our fears with the sure hope we know Christ brings to us. During these times, so many find themselves confronted with circumstances they never expected. We are their assurance of hope and help. For many though, the first thing they need is our presence and listening ear. We need to give voice to “Do not be afraid!” Do I make myself truly present to those in need? Do I listen to help relieve their fears and suffering? Do I offer to them the hope and light of Christ?
Lord Jesus, you are the way, the truth, and the life! Let me see in your resurrection the hope of tomorrow! Take my fears and cast them to the side. Grace me with the patience and compassion to be present to those who are suffering. Help me to lift them up as you lift me. Praise and glory to your name, for in you and through you we shall arise from this darkness to be with you in paradise. We pray all of this in your name. Amen