I hope you and your loved ones enjoyed your Easter holiday and have entered a joyous Easter season. This season represents the triumph of hope and love over cynicism and death. This year, I’ve been reflecting on the parallels between our society’s progress with COVID vaccinations and the Easter story. Placing myself in the disciples’ shoes, I imagine they felt a similar joy and possibility upon seeing that the stone had been moved from Christ’s tomb as I feel now.
The Easter story shows us the importance of new beginnings. We need only look as far as St. Peter, who had just denied Christ three times, for an example of how to learn from our past and make the most of our second chances. In John 21, Jesus reveals Himself to His disciples on the shores of the Sea of Tiberias. The disciples are amazed and excited to see the risen Christ, but Peter, who had just recently denied Jesus three times, probably felt a little ashamed. That shame was compounded when Jesus asks him “Do you love me?” three times. When Peter answers that he does, Jesus simply says “Then tend my sheep.” I can only imagine how I would feel, sitting next to a close friend and mentor I had just abandoned out of fear, forgiving me, accepting me, and trusting me with an enormous responsibility. It reminds us that each of us is called by God love and serve our neighbors, regardless of those previous times we went astray.
Returning to our present day, what role can we play in our own community’s new beginning, after the pandemic? How do we want to be loving co-creators of our new world, as we are invited to do in this Easter season? What changes do we want to make in our society? What does that mean specifically in our own lives?
This season, I will be praying for each of you and your loved ones. Thank you for your continued support of BJP.