By Sister Ave Clark, O.P.
Yes, it is Easter time, springtime, and the weather is changing, flowers slowly blooming. And yet, it is a strange time to think of singing an Alleluia!
It is a time of a global virus crisis that our own country is struggling to deal with.
Stay Home. Stay strong in faith and wash your hands.
Simple enough … And yet, this Easter time of 2020 evokes fears in us of unsettling human conditions of social distancing: churches, schools, parks, stores all closed with signs that say “Closed Until Further Notice”.
All of this could sink us into some dreadful, sad feelings. We all have our moments sprinkled with tears and deep wondering: Why is this happening? Where is this crisis taking all of us?
And then we get up “in spirit” and call a family member, a friend in need. We extend our hearts of caring via social media. We do something ordinary and extraordinary: We see life anew through the eyes of faith, acts of charity and the humble acceptance of trusting that a simple prayer whispered for those who are working in hospital emergency rooms, the mail carriers delivering mail every day, neighbors leaving bottles of water at your door without being asked. This is the gift of this Mysterious Alleluia Time.
Together, we will arise. Together we will not just sing an Alleluia. We will become the Alleluia of ordinary blessings and extraordinary courage shared so that others will have a life again.
There will be sacrifices and struggle and great hardships, and for some the deep loss of a dear loved one. Let our Alleluia resound with comfort, consolation, and great caring. Let us be for others in spirit and prayer at this time, lifting them with our compassion and mercy.
Challenges are here we never thought in 2020 would be given to us as a world community. In some way, we will all have to find a new way of living, a new way of connecting, a new way of believing that only together can we dare to address this crisis with no one left out: All hands. All hearts. All spirits of love and hope are needed.
Alleluia! We will help each other, get up, value kindness, hope, patience, charity, peace, forgiveness, value life, the Earth and the beautiful world God has given to us to share with respect, care, and great kindness.
Perhaps we will discover in this Mysterious Alleluia Time that “hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul, and sings the tune without words.” ( Emily Dickinson)
In a world where you can do anything: Be kind.
The happiness of your life depends on the loving quality of your thoughts.
Inhale Courage. Exhale Fear.
This is our Easter Joy of 2020: compassion for one another, sharing a simple gesture of charity, a wave to a jogger on the street, an empathetic gaze for those with tears, giving and receiving hope in simple ways.
Together, we will re-create a world where peace and harmony, caring and love are the threads that will unify and resurrect us all.
May each of us celebrate this Mysterious Alleluia Time with our hands folded in prayer saying with great, humble gratitude to one another: Alleluia! Thank you for being Jesus’ love.
Sister Clark is a member of the Sisters of St. Dominic of Amityville, author and founder of the Heart to Heart Ministry in Bayside, NY.