Resurrection in a Time of Pandemic

In Paul’s letter to the Colossians, the second reading for the Easter Sunday morning Mass, we are told:

“If you have been raised up to new life in Christ, you must seek the things that are above, where Christ is seated at God’s right hand.  Set your minds on what is of God, for you have died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God, sharing in his glory.”

What do these words mean to us at this time in history, as the Covid-19 pandemic sweeps across the globe, as we find ourselves “entombed” in our houses, our movements limited, our regular connections to family and friends disrupted?  What does it mean this year – to die with Christ, to rise with Christ, to live in Christ, to be a member of his crucified and risen Body, to share in his Easter glory? 

We see the suffering, broken body of Christ all around us: in our struggling parishes, our deserted neighbourhoods, in a special way in the nursing homes and hospitals where the sick and dying are being cared for – or in some cases, neglected.  As the Church, as a global community, as nations and cities and families, we share in the brokenness of these times.

But Easter is about Good News: that we share in Christ’s promise of renewal, of restoration, of rebirth: the victory won by his Resurrection, his triumph over death.  And this is what Easter, ultimately, is all about.

In the Easter Gospel, we experience the Resurrection through the eyes of Mary Magdalene.  She who had loved Jesus so much, who had personally experienced his forgiveness and healing, was the first to meet Jesus, to hear him call her by her name: “Mary!”  And it was she who was sent by Jesus as an “apostle to the apostles”, to share with the disciples not just a story about an empty tomb, but to bear witness that Jesus was alive: “I have seen the Lord”!

Eventually, the rest of the apostles, and so many others, met and saw and touched the risen Jesus themselves.  Word began to spread.  People came to believe the Good News signified by the empty Tomb: that Jesus was alive, that death was conquered by life, that we can live in hope. No longer captive to their fears, these witnesses of the Resurrection became hope-filled people spreading Jesus’ message of faith, hope, and love.

We are the bearers of that hope today.  We are an Easter people, and Alleluia is our song!  As we face what is for all of us a very different kind of Easter, the world needs now more than ever the Good News Jesus came to proclaim.  Let us find ways – within our families, in our work, in our prayer and outreach – to share with others the life and joy of the Risen Christ.

On behalf of Fr. Bertoli, Fr. Lloyd, and the whole team here at St. Monica’s, we wish you a blessed and joyful Easter. May we be creative in finding ways to share Easter joy with our family and friends, and with a world hungry for Good News. Fr. Lloyd also has a special Easter message for us all:  

And of course, please join us at 10 A.M. Easter Sunday morning as we celebrate the Mass of the Resurrection!  Follow the live-stream link from our website. If you are in a position to support the mission here at St. Monica’s, please visit our website and click on the “donate” button, use the rectory mail slot, or send it by mail. Thank you!

Special thanks again to Iain, Mark, Doug and our technical team for getting these special liturgies online!  The learning curve has been steep but we are excited to reach out in new ways.

Christ is risen! Alleluia!  Truly, he is risen! Alleluia!

Easter blessings to you all!

Fr. Raymond Lafontaine, E.V.

Pastor, St. Monica’s Parish