SHOWING THE WAY TO GOD
We come to Easter after the period of Lent. A time of fasting, prayer and almsgiving. Lent provides time to reflect. We get the chance to consider how God’s compassion and mercy operate in our lives. We can also contemplate, as individuals and as communities, how we respond to the way God loves us. That contemplation can be challenging, it can take us into uncomfortable spaces. We can engage in honest reflection not because self-criticism is an end in itself, but because it might help us to see more clearly how God invites us into a relationship.
Scrolling through news feeds, listening to the radio, sitting down to the morning paper or the nightly TV bulletin, whatever way you receive it, getting the news can be a dispiriting experience. There is much that might make us question how God is working in the world, and much to make us feel daunted and overwhelmed in considering how we can work to build God’s Kingdom. A climate in crisis, armed conflict and the risk of more, loneliness and social dislocation, the breakdown of trust in institutions, including our Church. Outside this church where I live, St Ignatius’, Richmond in Melbourne beautiful slate tables and chairs were destroyed one night earlier this year. The broken pieces remain for now and through Lent, next to this magnificent church, they have been a visual reminder of the brokenness of our world.
It is precisely amid this broken world of bad news that Jesus comes to share the Good News. To share His very self. Easter is a feast of hope. It confirms and inspires faith, it enables true love. I want specially to point to the way it offers hope in the only way that makes sense of all that leaves us dispirited. In the Resurrection we don’t hold that our world and its troubles matter no more, but that they matter so much that all will be made new in Christ. Easter holds out hope of a relationship with God, through Jesus Christ, that reorients everything. Hope that the injustices and suffering of our world are not our ultimate reality.
Our mission is to take up and share this hope. The hope that allows us to live with joy as an Easter people. We share hope, and live out of it, when we walk with those on the margins, accompanying young people, care for our common home and, maybe most especially, when we share the Spiritual Exercises as the means for a direct encounter each person can have with Christ. We need the honest reflection of Lent, but through it the confidence that in our Province ministries, as Jesuits and companions we are living out and sharing this hope.
I wish you a blessed Easter season. May the Resurrection allow you to grow in hope in the relationship you have with the Risen Jesus, and so in faith and love.
Fr Quyen Vu SJ
Video by Janark Gray.