Happy Easter! May the peace of the risen Christ be with you. The liturgies we have celebrated as a community, over this Sacred Triduum, have been truly moving. Maybe it is because we were unable to celebrate last year and that has added to the atmosphere this year. One of the great joys of these days has been to see people at church who we have not seen for over a year, it’s is truly amazing to see them back. I would like to say a massive thank you to everyone who has worked so hard over these days to make them so special, it has been a true community effort! The pandemic has been hard for all of us but somehow it seems to have made us stronger as a community!
We have been experiencing unusually warm and balmy weather, social distancing has been relaxed, vaccines are being rolled out, seemingly successfully, there seems to be a little buzz in the air, what’s not to like? But lurking underneath these wonderful things is the tiredness that lockdown and the situation has brought. It is a tiredness born of isolation or confinement with others, of lots of work and little play, or no work and financial insecurity or of the monotony of lockdown. The wonderful spring, seems though, to be restoring our spirits, we can all feel change in the air.
As I look back on the past year I realise that I’ve missed at least twelve days of reflection and a five day retreat. These days are an opportunity to be in the presence of the Lord, usually surrounded by a community of prayer, in a location where I could unwind and forget about the cares of daily life. These days provide a reset, they enable me to be in God’s presence listening to his voice speaking to my heart and directing my life. I have missed the refreshment they bring.
You may have experienced something similar. Perhaps the moments which give you refreshment or meaning; family visits, hobbies and sport, holidays or times of prayer in church have been sorely missed, maybe you are longing for them. Without the activities which excited you, which made you feel connected and rejuvenated you have noticed the difference.
Easter presents us with an opportunity to connect in a special way with God. Jesus, invites us to an intimate and personal encounter with himself. That encounter is what truly restores us and gives us life. We can encounter his presence in our daily lives, often in little or short moments of prayer or reflection. I pray that this Easter may provide a reset for you and offer you the refreshment you long for. Happy Easter, may the peace of the risen Christ be with you!