Sisters of St. Francis of the Holy Cross in Green Bay, WI
Reflection for April 12, 2020

Reflection for April 12, 2020

The Risen Christ is with us in our modern-day "Galilees"

The pandemic has given us a new way to see the Paschal Mystery and new ways to respond

by Sister Elise Cholewinski

One of the things that has disheartened me the most during the season of Lent this year is that, because of the current pandemic, we haven’t been in church on the Third, Fourth, and Fifth Sundays of Lent. On those Sundays the Church proclaims three powerful Baptismal stories: the meeting of Jesus and the woman at the well in Samaria, the healing of the man born blind, and the raising of Lazarus. The living water flowing from Jesus enabled the women to grow, step by step, in her faith in Him. Having his sight restored physically, the blind man gained spiritual insight into who Jesus really is. Lazarus, called forth from the tomb and having the burial cloths removed, could now move forward in freedom to begin a new life. We will have to wait another three years to have these rich and meaningful stories presented again. Or will we?

In this time of crisis, when we are unable to attend Mass and receive the Eucharist, we have turned to the living water flowing from the Sacred Scriptures. Hopefully, our spending time in meditation and spiritual reading has deepened our understanding of Jesus. With no end of the spread of the virus in sight, our eyes have been opened to the sick and the suffering, as well as to the loving response shown by health care professionals and by generous people in our own communities. Confined to our homes, we have felt called to come out of isolation and reach out to others, so that we can indeed be alone together.

In so many ways we have journeyed through the Paschal Mystery this Lent. In surrendering to death-dealing circumstances, we have become a life-giving people. We have truly undergone a Baptism.

In the Gospel for the Easter Vigil the Risen Jesus indicates to the women that He will be seen by His disciples in Galilee. He will meet them, not in Jerusalem, with its Temple and its great festivals, but in the district where they live their ordinary lives. This Easter the Risen Lord meets us, not in our churches   with their solemn liturgies, but in our homes and neighborhoods, our “Galilee”. Will we know Him? Will we recognize that He is living and rising in us?


04/11/2020 5:54 pm

There is so much goodness being shown these days. We can learn from this. Thank you Sister Elise.

04/11/2020 10:59 pm

It recently came to mind of how much we are like the earliest of Christians in 'these times of quarantine.' That is, the earliest Christians isolated themselves, too; they 'hid' in the catacombs from the very real fear of those seeking to harm or kill them. Here we are, in 2020, isolating ourselves from the very real danger of a most aggressive and deadly virus.

And it came to mind, too, how all religious communities have now become 'cloistered communities,' with lives being spent 'separated' from the world, and in actively-deep, engaging prayer, much more than in service.

I bring these thoughts with me into prayer ..... into contemplation ......

And I know there is an Easter story in here, within these ponderings .....

It is a global Paschal Mystery being shown to us, made visibly, physically evident to us; made known and revealed to us here and now, in These Times, on this One Earth. It is One Paschal Mystery that involves and includes All Peoples -- Everywhere, in All Places. There is no distinction; we are each and all human, living on and sharing One Earth -- whose air we all breathe; whose water we all drink; whose soil we all eat and are nourished from; and from whose sun, and moon, and stars we all shelter beneath.

This pandemic is taking us deeper -- deeper into our common humanity, and our shared emotions -- ALL of our emotions, not just those considered to be 'positive.' And it is also taking us higher -- into a 'higher plane' of awareness, consciousness. We can 'see' from a higher, broader, larger perspective ..... And I somehow 'know' this is like a small taste of resurrection ..... And I can somehow 'feel' the glory of G O D ..... Spirit-at-Work in-Us, and-With-Us, and-Through-Us in 'These Times .....'



"Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah!

For the lord God omnipotent reigneth .....

Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah!

The kingdom of this world is become the kingdom of our Lord And of His Christ .....

And He shall reign for ever and ever ....

King of kings forever and ever! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!

And Lord of lords forever and ever! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!

Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!

Hallelujah! [George F. Handel; THE MESSIAH - Hallelujah]

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