We celebrate the Feast of Easter this year at a time when the world needs “a resurrection”. This year, we contemplate the faces of the people who pray in their homes imploring the Almighty God to lift the “lockdown” imposed on humanity and to have the dawn of a new life rise. We meditate on the events relevant to “the Resurrection”, namely Easter, and we realize that a large stone had closed the door of the grave. The assumption was that this stone would never move and that death would be perpetual. Yet, the Feast of Resurrection reveals its significance with the stone being removed from the door of the grave. Consequently, the joy overwhelmed the fearful and the locked down apostles.
This is what humanity needs nowadays .It needs those who would bring good new indicating that the Corona “lockdown” would come to an end. Mankind is in a state of mourning due to the pandemic, yet the Feast of the Resurrection we are marking is not a cause of despair, but rather a source of hope and a dream for bright days to come with joy reflecting the hope that humanity will experience, God willing.
On Easter Sunday, we ask the Lord to have mercy on those who died because of Corona or of other reasons. It is really unfortunate these days that people are not allowed to take the last look at their dead relatives as is the case in Italy, Spain, France and the USA where a large number of victims (the martyrs of this epidemic) are buried without their loved ones having the opportunity to give them a farewell kiss on their foreheads.
Secondly, it is an invitation to pray for the healing of the infected. This is of course our custom during the festive period for everyone who cannot come to pray in the House of God during this period, which was in the past years attributed to illness or to being advanced in age. We know that this year is unique as people did not have the chance to attend the “Easter Mass”, so we pray to God to protect those who prayed in their homes and stayed safe in accordance with the instructions of the firm state that stood up in defence of human dignity and its bright life, and for following the directives of the Church which state: “Stay in your homes as we live-stream prayers on social media networks or via television channels.
Thirdly, prayers were constantly said in our churches imploring the Lord to protect all those who work for humanity. Prayers were lifted up for our wise Hashemite leadership led by His Majesty King Abdullah II Ben Al-Hussein who repeatedly addressed the citizens during which he made a parental address greeting their mettle, steadfastness, and courage. The words of His Majesty had a great effect on the people, raised their morale, and made them adhere to the instructions of the authorities.
Many thanks to the government, the army, and the security personnel, and to all the workers in the health fields who stood at the fore, exposed themselves to the risk of being infected, and remained faithful to their mission in life. This encourages every one to take responsibility and remain faithful to one’s mission in life despite its difficulties, challenges, dangers and pitfalls.
This year, the Feast of Easter holds tidings of goodness and reassurance, as well as calls for solidarity, charity, and love. The Christians have fasted for 40 days this year, and they did not miss the opportunity to extend aid to the poor and the needy, especially those who are badly in need of support for not being able to go to work particularly those who rely on daily pay. That is why Caritas Jordan and the Latin Patriarchate in Jordan-affiliated Office of Hope, in addition to a number of individuals, parishes or churches have presented aid to the poor and the needy.
Lastly, as Easter celebrations almost coincide with the advent of the holy month of Ramadan and sentiments mix, I convey well wishes to the Christians who celebrate Easter and to our Muslim brethren who are awaiting the advent of the month of Ramadan with renewed hope.
Well wishes are extended to the united Jordanian family and to the entire humanity. It is hoped that these anniversaries will be marked at a time when the entire humanity will have been freed from ”lockdown” and all other evils.
By: Fr. Dr. Rif’at Bader