Crises of unforeseen proportions, like the present pandemic, are bound to result in disruption and chaos. So the call this Easter is to lead from the emerging future. Pope Francis tells us that sometimes uprooting can be healing or result in a radical makeover. It gives one the opportunity to dream, develop new ideas, and think out-of-the-box, or even just pray in our own unique ways.
When one is sent off the soccer field and put on the bench, everything turns around. During the present coronavirus lockdown, our habits, our reflexive behaviours, the reference points of our existence that take shape over time, will have turned on their head and we will all have learned to live life anew. We have to keep our eyes on the horizon at all times as Jesus did, training our eyes to see the new growth of tender fresh leaves that sprout after a harsh pruning.
This pruning, this purification challenges us to develop patience, tolerance, understanding, the ability to forgive, and instills in us a fresh empathy for the poor and the powerless. This in turn calls us to silence and solitude. Silence and solitude often increases our capacity for prayer and connecting with God, and with God’s help we will be able to overcome the temptations we experience along the way. Making time to read good inspirational books, biographies, autobiographies, listening to music, indulging in meaningful and creative hobbies will help us to prepare ourselves for the emerging future. Equipped with these skills, each of us can then emerge as a leader.
When we listen, contemplate, speak to Jesus as we would speak to a close friend, then we will automatically take collective responsibility for all God’s creatures and this will lead to the better of these transformations. When we live creatively, we are empowered by the Divine Spirit. When we surrender our fear of death at the feet of Christ, we enter eternal life now rather than after death. Jesus’ resurrection has ensured that we all have eternal life, but we need to live our present life to the fullest. God has entrusted each of us with a mission and we cannot rest till God’s kingdom of justice, love and peace becomes a reality on earth.
Perhaps the Lord is challenging us this Easter to look beyond the obvious, to become New Samaritans of the third millennium. We want to be people of change, people of the future, energized by gratitude, humour, laughter, generosity and unconditional love. We want the good news of our redemption to be made known to all.
To fulfill this mission, we must ask ourselves: How are we agents of resurrection for others as they move from death to new life? How can we live fully, even when death in any of its forms visits us, as in the present COVID-19 crisis? Are we living a life of expansion, curiosity and deeper consciousness?
Dr (Sr) Mudita Menona Sodder RSCJ (IND)