“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead (1 Peter 1:3).”
Each year we mourn Jesus’ crucifixion on Good Friday. It is the most somber day for Christians around the world. In contrast, we celebrate the most joyous day of the year on Easter Sunday, when we celebrate Jesus rising from the dead.
It might seem as though we are in middle of one of the most dismal times of our lives right now with the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic. However, we must look to God to see light at the end of the tunnel. Just as we experience the joy of Easter after the sadness of Good Friday, there will be joy and happiness again, as this too shall pass.
This year’s Easter season is not what we are used to. Masses have been cancelled this Lent. We need to look to God to help us through this time, and in doing so, show love to our brothers and sisters in Christ.
In this time of the need for people to physically distance themselves from each other to prevent the spread of the disease, we must work doubly hard to keep our emotional connections strong. Telephone calls, whether traditional, or face to face chat over smartphones, are a vital way to stay connected. Whether it’s your own relatives, close friends, and neighbors, or the folks in the community whom you don’t know personally, relationships matter more than ever.
Many people, especially the most vulnerable elderly, are feeling more isolated and hopeless than ever. Reach out remotely to your elderly neighbors and ask if they need groceries or supplies from the store, which you can drop off outside their door. Or, just call to say hi and ask them how they are doing. If you live in a place where you can go outside and stay at a safe distance from your neighbors, stop and chat.
The members of the St. Vincent de Paul Society of Philadelphia are doing whatever is possible during this unprecedented time to continue their mission to feed the hungry, shelter the homeless, provide hope to the imprisoned, and give comfort to the suffering. You too can find ways to make a difference in the lives of those who so desperately need help, even if it’s not how you would traditionally help someone. Remember that when times seem to be at their darkest, the sun will always come out again, just like we celebrate the joyful coming of our Lord, Jesus Christ, every Easter.
The Saint Vincent de Paul Society of Philadelphia has many ways, customized to each local community for you to transform the lives of your neighbors as well as your own life, including through participation and building up the community. Like that of its founder, blessed Frédéric Ozanam, the vision of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul “is to embrace the world in a network of charity.”