There is no doubt that this Easter will be unlike any other in recent memory. The COVID-19 crisis has put a hold on attending mass in person and will limit family celebrations. It has placed before us unprecedented challenges on a global scale, that at times feel almost too overwhelming to confront.
During this Holy Week, let us not forget that as Jesus made his way to Calvary, beaten and humiliated, he may have appeared alone and dejected, but he knew that God and the Holy Spirit were with him. They gave him the strength to see beyond his own fears and needs, and to open his heart to love and experience its profound and transformative power.
In his Easter message, Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, President of Caritas Internationalis, reminds us that the current crisis is already revealing the strong bonds within our human family: “As we live in isolation and we all become marginalised and vulnerable, the global suffering we are seeing has made it startlingly apparent to us that we need other people and other people need us too.”
And he points to how Jesus’s love for humanity continues to show its miraculous capacity to heal:
Caritas christi urget nos’ – the love of Christ urges us on (2 Corinthians 5:14). This love, seen in small and large gestures of hope and solidarity, is calling us to a new future and a new way of living. COVID-19 knows no borders but neither do faith, hope and love.”
This Easter, amid the uncertainties facing our world, I invite you to embrace love rather than fear. The result will be a global solidarity that can help heal our wounded world so that all can live in dignity.
I want to thank you for your ongoing support of Development and Peace and our mission to serve the poorest of our world. This pandemic has us gravely concerned about our partners and the vulnerable communities they work with, but with your support, they are already acting to help those most in need. Some of them have sent us special Easter wishes that I would like to share with you here:
Let me take this moment to wish you a blessed Easter in safety and in health. Let us celebrate Jesus’s resurrection and remember that the Spirit is with us in these difficult times.
Development and Peace — Caritas Canada