“Life Where There Was None”, By Brian Flanagan, Fiat Ventures

Flickr User Nick Kenrick

Easter Sunday of the Resurrection of the Lord

Well so much for a normal Easter.  I did manage to procure some Reese’s peanut butter eggs while out foraging for supplies with my mask on.  But instead of an Easter ham this year, I have a feeling a lot of families might be having Easter hamburgers.  Quarantine in the middle of March, fine.  But in the middle of April, during the holiest week of the year and then missing out on Mass for Easter Sunday – it’s tough.  Definitely not a “normal” Easter.

But there are a few things about this Easter that I’m grateful for.  For one, this is probably the closest we’ll ever get to the experience of Jesus’ disciples on that first Easter Sunday.  Remember, they didn’t know what was coming next.  The rug had been pulled out from under them.  In the Gospel this week, we see Mary Magdalene going to the tomb, while it was still dark.  And she wasn’t going to check to see whether Jesus had risen, it was to anoint his body.  So, we, like those disciples, arrive at Easter Sunday morning still with a sense of uncertainty.  For us, it’s not uncertainty about the Resurrection, but about the circumstances of our life right now.  Life was rather upended for them as well.  They had been going around publicly with Jesus, and now they were hiding and isolating themselves out of fear and hesitation.  Sound familiar?

Another thing I’m grateful for is this Easter is that we’re forced to focus on what we have in front of us; whether it be ingredients left in the pantry before the next supply run, the people we’re quarantined with, or even focusing on the present moment itself rather than the future.  So much of our hope is often placed in future events and situations, but God wants to teach us in these circumstances to depend on him, and to know that he’s given us what we need for the present moment – and we’ll just have to trust him for the next day.  The other day we ran out of noodles, so I decided to make some pasta from scratch.  Was it good?  Not exactly.  Edible?  Yes.  Memorable?  Definitely.

I’ve also been reflecting on how much Easter is all about God bringing life where there was none.  I saw someone online share a picture of a dried Crown of Thorns, hung on a crucifix in Italy, that began blooming.  That’s what God does.  He brings life where there was none.  Bringing life into the death of the tomb and bringing life to hearts that have been crushed by sin or despair. 

And in this current situation, we can see all of the ways God has already brought life where there was none.  Many families are experiencing healing by spending so much time together.  Many friendships are being renewed over video calls and the phone.  So many people are experiencing a renewal of their faith as they turn to God and experience a longing to get back to the Mass and the Sacraments.  As time goes on, we’ll be able to look back and see all of the ways God has brought life where there was none.  So, this Easter Sunday, rejoice in the Resurrection, and pray that Jesus would bring the new life of the resurrection into every aspect of our lives.

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