My Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ... Happy Easter! Although we continue to endure the tragedy of over 2.4 MILLION deaths and 130 MILLION people sick this past year due to COVID, we must not despair as our Hope and Salvation is through Jesus Christ! Our celebration during this Easter Season should remind of this each moment.
Over and over again we are told in the Bible to "BE NOT AFRAID," yet how many of us let worry and other distractions take our eyes away from Jesus? In Matthew 6:27 it says, “Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?” I've often told my friends, "God is not ready for you and me yet... We still have lots of work to do!" Our fear and worry disables us and prevents us from carrying out the Gospel commands.
The "Greatest Commandment" and "the second is like it"... To LOVE... GOD... Our Neighbors... Ourselves and ultimately as we learn elsewhere in the Gospel, LOVE Our Enemies. LOVE is the foundation for EVERYTHING in the Gospels... "All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments." (Matthew 22:36-40)
The word LOVE is not only a "State of BE-ing" (to BE in LOVE), but it is also an "Action Verb" (TO LOVE). LOVE requires Action. What is that action? Feed the hungry... give drink to the thirsty... visit the sick imprisoned.... LOVE your Enemies. For when we do this to the least of our brothers, we do it to Him. Although we should avoid visiting the sick and even others in person because of COVID right now (unless we are medically trained), we can still visit over the phone or through emails and writing letters. We can show our LOVE in many ways, including something as simple as wearing a mask in public. Let us do our best to "LOVE One Another" as Jesus Loved us, by doing our part to stop the spread of COVID.
During this Easter Season, I would like us to not only ponder, but begin to believe what it says in John 14:12, "Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and GREATER works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father." It is through the RESURRECTION that we have the ability to do "Greater works"... So it is now OUR TURN to LOVE which is the special ingredient to do these "Greater Works" than Jesus.
Imagine the Miracles we can achieve when we all LIVE in LOVE for One Another???!!!
Easter PEACE and LOVE Always...
Br. Paul, OFH
Guardian and Founder of the Order of Franciscan Hermits