Easter Message from Very Rev. Anthony R. Brausch, Ph.D., President and Rector04.08.20
An Easter Message from Very Rev. Anthony R. Brausch, Ph.D., President and Rector
As we celebrate Easter this year, we do so in circumstances no one foresaw just a few short weeks ago. As we prepare to celebrate the Resurrection of Our Lord, most likely we will have questions we have not had to ask before: Can Easter be Easter if we cannot go to Mass? If we cannot go to our parish on Good Friday and venerate the Cross, or hear the Exultet on Holy Saturday evening, or sing together on Easter Sunday morning? Can Easter be Easter if we cannot gather with our family on Easter Sunday, especially with those who are older and now so threatened by the Coronavirus? These are not questions simply about how we are going to celebrate the day without our rituals and customs, deep down they are questions about how we are thinking about Easter now, in these circumstances? How are we believing?
This time of uncertainty, anxiety over health and for loved ones, social distancing and sheltering in place, gives us a glimpse back to a time before modern medicine, to a time when illness, infection and injury could easily lead to death; a time when we were not so much in control of every moment and aspect of our lives, or thought we should be. We forget just how prevalent the reality of death must have been for everyone in society, not just to those advanced in years or suffering from a terminal illness but from the moment of birth. Over all of life the darkness of death cast its shadow, and there was no way to escape it. It was everyone’s constant companion.
This is how the Gospel according to John begins: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God; all things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
In these days it may be a little easier to reflect on what Jesus’ resurrection from the dead meant to those who first believed and proclaimed the Good News. The last and greatest enemy, Death, is conquered. There is now a light in the world, the Light, and life after death is offered.
Even though we cannot be together for the celebration of the passion and resurrection, I encourage you to read or listen to the passion on Good Friday and on the evening of Holy Saturday, after dusk, light a candle in your house and hear the words the Church speaks to us at the beginning of the Easter Vigil:
Dear Brothers and Sisters, on this most sacred night, in which our Lord Jesus Christ passed over from death to life, the Church calls on her sons and daughters, scattered throughout the world to come together to watch and pray. If we keep the memorial of the Lord’s pashal solemnity in this way, listening to his word and celebrating his mysteries, then we shall have the sure hope of sharing his triumph over death and living with him in God.
May God bless you and your families in this season of Easter, and I will be praying for you throughout the celebration of the Sacred Triduum.