From the Deacon’s Desk: Prayer and Inspirational Thoughts
April 17 – Easter Sunday
At the Easter Vigil, traditionally, 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! It is a transition point from the darkness; the despair; “the prison bars of death” all broken by Christ rising to bring us redemption through the mercy of God! We hear and know the hope of Christ through his words, “DO NOT BE AFRAID!”
And yet, we are still in the midst of trying to figure it out at Easter. At that first Easter, the disciples were locked in their house. It was dangerous for them to come out. They were afraid. They were still in the process of trying to make sense of it all. The disciples on the Road to Emmaus were confused as well when Jesus joined them, even though they were unaware of who he was. With the passage of time and reflection upon what Jesus had told them, 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
In many ways, our world has been beset by the darkness of fear as we have endured the pandemic and the ensuing financial and health challenges brought on by it. Now we face the shadow of war in the world as tensions escalate and uncertainty becomes the norm. As we have dealt with these challenges they have given us a taste of what that first Easter was like, fear having a grip on us until we dare to believe that hope is on the horizon. Slowly we are emerging and as the first apostles did, we too will embrace the hope of Jesus Christ Risen once again! Christ always brings us to the light if we will but trust in Him and follow where he leads us!
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. As we encounter our neighbors in need, 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