Last Tuesday, 23rd March, we paused to reflect on all that has happened over the last year. We remembered with love and prayer those who have died as a result of Covid 19, perhaps members of our own families, friends or communities. We also held before God those who continue to grieve, and all whose lives and livelihoods have been traumatised by the impact of this pandemic. At times in this last year it may have felt, for all of us, as if darkness has covered our world and our lives.
Many of us will have shared in the lighting of a candle as we paused and remembered. As Christians the lighting of candle symbolises the presence of, and a rekindling of our faith and hope in, the One who is the Light of the world – a light that no darkness can overcome or extinguish.
Today is Monday of Holy Week, the week in which we enter into the unfolding of the mysteries of our salvation.
On Maundy Thursday we will hear again the mandatum (from which Maundy Thursday takes its name), the command, of Jesus that we are to love one another. Gathered with his disciples in the Upper Room, Jesus first of all washes their feet to show ‘how perfect his love was.’ This act of humility and of service is the beginning of the pouring out of his life in love for the world.
On Good Friday, we see that perfect love of God made manifest as Jesus opens his arms upon the cross. We see that God’s love is stronger than death and that no one, and nowhere, is beyond the reach of His unfathomable goodness and mercy.
Standing at the foot of the Cross we come face to face with the love that searches out the very depths of our grief and suffering, and see that God does indeed love us to the end – the very end – for that is His will and His way. Our response ‘demands my life, my all.’
Easter morning will bring us to the empty tomb and the joy of the resurrection. Jesus, who poured out his life in love for our love, is raised from the dead that we who follow him may share in the fullness of his risen and glorious life. As we celebrate the joy of Easter we know that the love of God is stronger, even, than death and that nothing can separate us from Him. Amidst all the changes, cares, pain and trauma of the last year, and with the uncertainty that the future holds, we trust in God who has shared in the vulnerability of our humanity that we may share in the glory of His life.
As we look back on all that has been, we can see – in the countless acts of faithful, selfless, loving service that have ensured our school communities have continued to care for, educate and nurture our children – the triumph of the love of God in Christ.
As we continue to find our way through the uncertainties of the present and future, may the light of Christ, who is Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, Lord of all time, dispel any darkness or fear from our hearts and lives as he greets us anew with his words of life, “peace be with you.”
May you and yours know the joy and peace of the Risen Lord this Easter and always. Alleluia!