As I prepare for the 2020 Easter Celebration in a situation of the Covid-19 pandemic, I imagine, Jesus Christ said this to me and us, “Don’t be afraid! Because we may feel alone and sad. I who support you, will comfort and strengthen you! “
I place this imaginary word of comfort on the basis of faith, hope, and love for Jesus Christ, who first loved mankind, without discrimination. Even those who blasphemed and crucified Him He prayed for and forgiven Him, didn’t He? More than anything else, his love has been proven through his passion, death, and resurrection which is remembered today by the universal Christian community.
I believe, the Lord Jesus Christ, who with his passion, death and resurrection, redeemed not only mankind but also the universe, blessed and served His people to the point of His tribulation. He has even become a victim and experienced the most painful situations. That is when those whom He loves betray, ignore, even reject and crucify Him.
His faithfulness does not change
Even though Jesus Christ was betrayed, He remained faithful. Because, He could not betray His love for the Father and man. Although Jesus suffered betrayal by Judas Iscariot, the disciple who sold Him, and by Simon Peter, the disciple who denied Him, His loyal love and mercy did not change.
Even Jesus Christ was betrayed by those who greeted Him and sang His hosanna upon entering the city of Jerusalem (on Palm Sunday) but only a few days later, on Friday, they shouted provocatively: “Crucify Him!” (Matthew 27:22). Jesus was also betrayed by the religious institutions of His countrymen who unjustly blasphemed Him and collaborated with the Roman political institutions of that time who washed their hands to crucify Him!
Remarkably, Jesus Christ remained faithful and unchanging towards them. Instead, Jesus Christ forgave them. So, Jesus Christ also prayed from His cross, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they have done!” (Luke 23:34).
His same faithfulness and mercy are upon us. So when we go to Worship or Mass online at , we can reflect on all the little or big betrayals we have committed against Him. We can also think of betrayals that we may experience or commit to others and the universe.
Maybe we can feel how terrible it is when our trust is betrayed. How often do we betray God, others and the universe? However, His mercy and faithfulness do not change, because the eternal love of God is eternal for us. If so, would we still have the heart to betray Him and those who love us?
It is time to be firm in faith and bear fruit
This is the time for us to live a new life and be firm in faith, and bear fruit in real life. Many have shared with me that when they attend Mass and / or worship online, they are moved blue with tears. I have experienced it too, even when I celebrate the Eucharist and receive His Body and Blood in real life on behalf of the people.
Hopefully this will be a wonderful opportunity for moments to return to normal later, worship and Mass will shape our attitude to live our faith. Do not come to Mass or worship during normal times, instead being busy online when the service is taking place.
Thus, faith also bears fruit in life, which is marked by mutual respect based on solidarity and compassion which these days are very strong in coloring our lives.
This is a wonderful abundant time with God reflecting on our lives. As Pope Francis offered in his Palm Sunday homily (5/4/2020): Let us look inside ourselves. If we are honest with ourselves, we can ask ourselves: How many lies, hypocrisy, and falsehoods in our life? How many good intentions do we betray ourselves? How many promises have we broken? How many of our good plans have not been fulfilled?
God knows our hearts better than we know ourselves. He knows how weak and fragile we are, how many times we fall, how hard it is to get up and how hard it is to heal certain wounds. We are invited to be strong in faith.
Unwavering faith makes us aware of His mercy which says, “I will heal their infidelity because I love them so much” (Hosea 14: 5).
Welcome to enter the holy days of saving God during the Covid-19 pandemic. God’s mercy and love strengthen our life of faith so that it produces fruit in solidarity and compassion for others and the universe. Happy Easter!
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