Hope is where it should start this Easter—at home

Published April 3, 2021, 4:30 PM

by AA Patawaran

In his traditional Easter message last year at St. Peter’s Basilica, Pope Francis urged the world to spread ‘a contagion of hope.’ He is scheduled to deliver his Easter message ‘urbi et orbi’ at noon on April 4 at the Vatican (6 p.m. in Manila)

EASTER IS A MESSAGE OF HOPE Pope Francis delivering his traditional Easter message ‘urbi et orbi’ at St. Peter’s Basilica last year

With many cities on enhanced community lockdown (ECQ) due to the surging number of COVID-19 cases, most of us have spent Holy Week, from Palm Sunday to Black Saturday, with more opportunities for silence, solitude, and stillness as well as prayer and reflection.

On the bright side, the lockdown has also compelled us to spend the long holidays with what matters the most, ourselves, our families, and—for us Catholics as well as Lutherans, Anglicans, Methodists, Presbytarians and other Protestant groups—our faith, away from distractions typical of how many of us would spend Holy Week in years prior to 2020.

THE MIRACLE OF FAITH Hope blooms even in the unlikeliest places

Due to coronavirus restrictions, on hold, except online, were most church activities, such as masses, processions, Visita Iglesia, and the Way of the Cross. But the suspension of most other activities, particularly leisure, such as out-of-town trips, gave the faithful a chance to more solemnly commemorate the final week of Lent, starting with the triumphal entry of Jesus Christ to Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, followed by the Last Supper on Maundy Thursday and the Passion of Christ on Good Friday, and ending with sabbath on Holy Saturday.

On Easter Sunday, April 4, 2021, there is no message from the resurrection of Jesus more essential, to use a COVID term, than the message of hope and salvation.

‘May Christ, who has already defeated death and opened for us the way to eternal salvation, dispel the darkness of our suffering humanity and lead us into the light of His glorious day.’

Last year, at St. Peter’s Basilica, with no banner hung from the central balcony, with no bands playing the Vatican anthem, with no flowers strewn around St. Peter’s Square, and in the near-emptiness of the surrounding streets, Pope Francis urged the world in his traditional Easter message to spread the “contagion of hope.”

To wrap up his message, Pope Francis implored, “May Christ, who has already defeated death and opened for us the way to eternal salvation, dispel the darkness of our suffering humanity and lead us into the light of His glorious day.”

We need a contagion of hope more this year than we did last year, when the dark cloud of COVID-19 began to hang over the Philippines. Hope continues to be our greatest armor against the horrors of the pandemic.

As Pope Francis said on Easter Sunday last year and, as he is sure to say this year, “Christ, my hope, is risen.” That should be enough reason to keep us going even through this darkness.

THE PASSION OF CHRIST More than the suffering, the point of Calvary is salvation and redemption

Based on the 2021 papal calendar for Holy Week and Easter released by the Vatican, the Pope will celebrate Easter morning mass at 10 a.m. on April 4 (4 p.m. in Manila) at St. Peter’s Basilica with a very small congregation. His blessing “urbi et orbi” will follow at noon (6 p.m. in Manila).

Have hope. That is the very point of Easter Sunday.

 
CLICK HERE TO SIGN-UP
 

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE

["panorama-specials","specials","specials"]
[2665295,3058301,3058264,3061197,3061187,3061176,3060996]