We turned a corner here in Connecticut this weekend. No, we are still quarantined and still going to school virtually. That will likely continue for some time. We stay safe by staying at home. Trips to the store are kept to a minimum and since online food delivery is backed up, we make a list, keep to it, and get in and out quickly. No more browsing for us.
The corner we turned is weather-related. Divine Mercy Sunday was gorgeous. The sun shone, the birds sang, and the tree house drew nearer to completion. The chill returned in the evening but it was still nice enough to grill outside. After a long, long Lent, lots of rain and chilly weather, it seems spring has finally arrived.
It was hard to celebrate Easter without springtime. It’s even harder to celebrate Sunday without Mass. Going to Mass via television is just not the same, but it has given the children (and parents) a better understanding of those older folks around us who are unable to go as often as the rest of us – at least when public Masses are not suspended.
In the readings during the Easter season, we read of Thomas, who doubted, Peter, who was reconciled, and the early followers who experienced the resurrected Jesus on the shore, in the upper room, and as they cared for one another.
I get Thomas. During these days of staying indoors, it is easy to doubt the reality of the world around us. It is easy to feel fine, see the sun shining, and wonder to ourselves why we can’t just go about our lives doing whatever it is we want. Then we see the numbers and realize how contagious this virus is and how staying away from friends and family can actually save lives. Yes, it’s boring, but I find hope in this fact: the Church canonized Thomas. He’s a saint, which means that after the doubting, there was belief. His confession of faith speaks to the hope we can all find when this pandemic is over and we breathe a sigh of relief and hug our neighbors. He doubted, but his experience of Jesus brought him through the darkness.
Then there is Peter, who saved his backside by denying he even knew Jesus. We’ll see in Sunday’s Gospel that he gets his chance to reconcile with Jesus. To weep, to repent, to choose to love again. That gives me hope too. I am forgiven. I can be reconciled. I can experience Jesus in the people around me and choose love over ignorance and self-serving behavior.
Finally, there are the early followers. The ones who ran to the tomb and yet still stayed locked in the upper room. The two who ran off to nowhere, only to find the risen Lord along the way. We are like all those people. We are scared. We are alone. But we know the end of the story. We know there is light after darkness, resurrection after crucifixion.
We know that we are Easter people and that Alleluia is our song.
And that makes all the difference in the world.
This originally appeared on Patrick Donovan’s personal blog, Five Minutes on Monday.
Image by Mabel Amber on Pixabay