By Friar Mario Serrano OFM Conv.
Come, Holy Spirit, come and make us notice Spring and Resurrection.
Spring has arrived, and God once again is revealing love and resurrection. We cannot ignore that we are living in a unique time. Lent is over, and we are making our way through Easter Season towards Pentecost, yet we are still required to make the sacrifice of remaining physically distant from one another and sheltered in place. We have experienced a sudden halt. No longer do we find ourselves teaching, learning, running, administering, in the routine we have called life. Often, we found ourselves with little time and not enough energy for awareness. Let us not be caught unaware of Spring and Resurrection. As we are now being forced to see life through a new lens and rely on our creativity and our imaginations, let us not forget to see the gifts of the Holy Spirit. The same Spirit that transformed death into Resurrected Life and empowered the disciples.
I am always excited to hear about the early Christian community during the Easter Season being so bold as they go and proclaim the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Yet, we cannot overlook that our early Christian brothers and sisters also found themselves “behind closed doors” (John 20). In the upper room with locked doors, they too most likely sat in doubt, despair, and disappointment feeling exhausted after witnessing the condemnation, cruelty, and crucifixion. A mental and emotional shutdown, as hope has been hijacked by havoc and fear and has frozen their lives. Nevertheless, the unimaginable happens, Jesus Christ, the Resurrected One, appears in their midst and says: “Peace be with you.”
Fear kept the early disciples behind closed doors as safety has kept us behind our closed doors. But even within our sheltering in place for the sake of safety, this doesn’t mean that we are to lounge around and wait with our thoughts and emotions. God is whispering new life inside of us, but we must let go of our preoccupations and obsessions. We must trust! The Risen One is desiring an encounter with us and is also lovingly saying to us, “Peace be with you.” May these words give us great comfort and allow us to breathe in the Spirit of New Life. May you and I join the hope-filled voices of our ancestors of faith and the voices of our friars as we are continuing to find bold ways of singing our anthem, Jesus Christ is Risen, Alleluia, Alleluia!