Wars rage, we have a climate emergency and Covid-19 continues to threaten. The human suffering and sadness are incalculable. We all live in the dark shadow of these realities, and –in varying degrees – people are dealing with daily challenges, sometimes coping with issues from poverty to ill-health to loss. Keeping faith with ourselves and our world can be a struggle.
Holy Week, beginning today, has its darkness, as is captured so movingly in the accounts of the Passion. But the week starts with the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem, a clear promise from the outset of how it will conclude – with Christ coming through suffering and death to resurrected life and bringing us and all of creation with him.
We tend to focus on the Cross because of the horrific death experienced by Jesus but also because of the suffering and death we witness and which, as this reflection is being penned, is so heart-breakingly seen in Ukraine, for instance. But there is no decoupling of the suffering and death of Jesus from his resurrection. As in Jesus’ life, there is no point in our individual and communal lives when our God does not accompany us – good and difficult days alike.
We get through life’s crosses with the support of our sisters and brothers. Love, care and service of each other is going on every day in our families and communities and is especially in evidence in the generous response of people to a humanitarian emergency such as is being experienced currently in Ukraine. In this way, we mediate God’s presence to each other and make real the resurrection here and now.
There are moments of desolation in all our lives and in the human story. Like what happens in Holy Week, life often feels like it’s falling apart, but especially when seen in the light of faith, life is always full of promise. At the Eucharist we encounter the risen and victorious Christ, our faith in ourselves and our world is renewed, and we commit to playing our part in the realisation of a resurrected world of justice, love and peace.
Image: Pixabay Lukas_Rychvalsky https://pixabay.com/images/id-2915187/