An Easter message

Australian Jesuit Provincial Fr Quyen Vu SJ reflects on the challenging times we have had during the pandemic and how we should continue to focus on helping the poor and vulnerable.

All of us have probably had family members or friends, or even ourselves, test positive to COVID-19 within the last two years. It certainly is challenging when it comes close to us and our families.

Now we are out of lockdowns, back in schools and offices and the world tells us that we are back to normal. Business is booming again, there are promises of more open borders and the world has moved on for most. The Resurrection which we celebrate at Easter feels close for many who look forward to enjoying a lift in hope and opportunities after the dark days of isolation.

However, the pandemic is still very much with us. People are still dying, although not in the numbers they were before the vaccines. And healthcare workers are as busy as ever. Those who are affected now however, are people who, for many, live at the edges of consciousness – the sick, the vulnerable, people in remote communities, the health care workers who looked after them, the millions in poor countries who have inadequate access to healthcare. They are not the economically productive who are at the centre of our consumer-driven world.

In the Society however, we are called by our apostolic preferences to a vision which puts the most vulnerable at the centre, which makes looking after each other a core part of any new world to be built in Christ. This does not mean a vision of gloom but a world in which the joy of the Resurrection which we celebrate is genuinely shared with everyone.

It means looking after the weakest, taking precautions which will protect them and living in such a way that both opportunity and responsibilities are shared. The Easter Triduum reminds us that the Christ we worship in glory still wears the wounds he won in degradation and humiliation.

As we move towards the end of this Ignatian year and hold our Province Congregation, let us renew our commitment to the solidarity in which the Risen Christ calls us to rise with him.

Fr Quyen Vu SJ