Easter has come but not gone. Eastertide extends for 50 days. Traditionally, churches are filled on Good Friday and Easter Sunday, but not this year. Lockdown and social distancing are in force so in the lead-up to Easter, some Christians were feeling deprived and somewhat negative about being locked out of their places of worship. Then it happened. Creativity and technology combined to offer a range of choices. We could choose to go on You Tube and decide whether we wanted to participate in the liturgy in a small chapel, a parish church or a big city cathedral. Far from being isolated, we were linked to Christians world-wide. Everywhere it was the same theme: Jesus suffered, died and rose again. On Good Friday, isolation, fear, death itself took on new meaning as we stayed at home and heard the frightening death toll from Covid-19 in the UK, USA, Italy and Spain. The Easter message always brings hope and this is resonating with people of all faiths as we look into our spiritual depths and identify what is really important to us. We hear about social distancing but I prefer to think of physical distancing, social connection and spiritual bonding. We connect with each other by phone calls, emails and friendly hand waves as we pass one another driving or out walking. Significantly, people are sharing insights and spiritually bonding with one another. Some very beautiful prayers and reflections are lifting our spirits and revealing just how spiritually connected to one another we are. You will find some of these prayers and reflections in this issue of In Touch. We are enjoying quiet time, breathing in clear fresh air, listening to the birds, smelling the rain, because we have, as a global village, slowed down. NASA scientists tell us that their satellite shows that the earth is taking a much-needed rest, that CO2 emissions and air pollution are significantly reduced. On the human level our dependence on one another has been brought home to us resulting in a world-wide chorus of gratitude to health workers and those working in essential services for their dedication in this crisis. Questions for us now are about what we have learned from this pandemic. What changes can we make in our personal lives? How can we heal our planet? How can we be a more peaceful world community? We have time for reflection. Let us hope that we will grow in wisdom, care for one another and for the earth as we reflect now and remember Easter 2020.
Sr. Anne Henson