Greetings to all and a Happy Easter!
Holy Week was a busy one and there was a large participation in the different liturgical celebrations over the week. We organised a retreat for 80 young people and penitential services in each of the 11 chapels. I was able to celebrate a Holy Thursday service in the prison before leaving to celebrate the holy days and spend time with people in different communities along the river. Peter remained in the town where there was a large participation in the “Via Sacra” (The Way of the Cross) on Good Friday. The body of Jesus is always carried through the streets of the town as the people participate in the procession with prayers and songs.
It is interesting that the same phenomenon seems to occur in lots of places. There seems to be a greater participation on Good Friday, than on Easter Sunday. It was certainly the case here and I found this in Mexico as well. People seem to participate eagerly on Good Friday but seem to forget about Easter Sunday. There may be many reasons for this but I think that it might happen simply because the majority of people have more experiences in their lives with the cross, with suffering and with pain and sorrow and, therefore, it’s much easier to identify with the Jesus of the cross than with the Jesus of the Resurrection. For many people, the peace and joy of Jesus rising from the dead never becomes a reality. It remains as something vague and difficult to understand – a mystery!
But as we know, it is precisely the Resurrection, Jesus rising from the dead, which is supposed to give meaning to our faith and to life itself. “If Christ didn’t rise from the dead our faith is in vain” (1 Corinthians 15:14). Therefore, our mission as Christians in today’s world, is to make the Resurrection a reality for people. We shouldn’t remain in our own problems; neither can we allow people to just remain in theirs, especially when they are suffering and in pain. If we live the Gospel by being kind, reaching out, helping others, offering our talents and services, then we can and do make the Resurrection a reality for people. For this to happen I suppose we always have to be willing to go a little further!
Our mission here consists in just this – giving people reason to hope, helping them to experience a little peace and joy in the midst of suffering, and giving them dignity in their lives.
For this reason wherever there is pain and suffering, peace and joy can always conquer when people are willing to come together to help and support one another. In this way, the Church should continue to be a mother, helping people where they are at.
This has turned into more of a reflection than news, but anyway, enjoy the pics. God bless and keep us in the prayers.