Silvester O’Flynn OFM Cap.
I like the story about an ageing flower-lady with an outdoor stall. Her clothes were old and shabby, her face weather-beaten and wrinkled. A regular customer asked how she was always in good form. “It’s my friend Jesus,” she replied. “Good Friday was the worst of days. Three days later, Easter Sunday, the best of days. So, when I have a problem, I know that if I wait three days, Jesus will overcome it for me.”
If ever the world needed a message of light and hope it is this year of the Corona epidemic.
The flower-lady knew that Easter is not just an event of past history but her friend Jesus is a living reality.
Pope Francis tells us: “Christ’s resurrection is not an event of the past; it contains a vital power which has permeated the world. Where all seems to be dead, signs of resurrection suddenly spring up. It is an irresistible force. Often it seems that God does not exist: all around us we see persistent injustice, evil, indifference and cruelty.
“But it is also true that in the midst of darkness something new always springs to life and sooner or later produces fruit. However dark things are, goodness always re-emerges and spreads.
“Each day in our world beauty is born anew, it rises transformed through the storms of history. Such is the power of the resurrection, and all who evangelise are instruments of that power” (The Joy of the Gospel, p.276).
The epidemic is proving to be a challenge bringing out the extraordinary goodness of people. Good neighbourliness has returned to our society.
Volunteers are sprouting up everywhere. Chefs out of work have come together to cook delicious meals for the housebound. Some individual starts a project to raise funds and the response is overwhelming. Factories change production so as to supply medical equipment. Retired medical staff volunteer to come back. The list of goodness is endless. Love is the greatest proof of God’s presence.
We are told that we are living in a post-Christian society. But the evidence before our eyes is that the Christian inspiration is alive and well.
Christ is risen. But the story is not complete until Christ is risen in you and me. And when each one holds just one little candle what a bright world it will be. Take the light of Christ and spread the light of Christ. Alleluia!