Christ is Risen – Easter Sunday 2020

Christ is Risen, He has Risen Indeed! Happy Easter! All of us at igNation offer our greetings for a blessed Easter season, one that is filled with new and abundant life.

We are in need of Easter and the graces of spiritual joy and happiness. Our planet and its inhabitants are in need of those graces. Those in our cities need Easter, as do the women and men caught in their personal experience of Christ’s passion: the sick and suffering, those in war-torn areas, refugees and migrants, the people in our streets, parents struggling to raise their children, and so on. I don’t know of one person not in need of spiritual joy and happiness.

Our world gives us plenty of reasons to live in fear and to be filled with sadness, anger, and hopelessness. We all have our own reasons. What are yours?

Among my own recent sources of desolation are the sad revelations about Jean Vanier and how it made me sick, the pandemic spread of COVID-19 and the impact it has had on almost every area of common life, and the personal discovery that I was not immune to the fear it caused.

That came home to me on the subway in Toronto and how I felt almost paranoid. How often I have washed my hands, used hand sanitizer, avoided crowds and avoided touching my face. I live in a world of fear. I suspect that you do as well.

St. Ignatius of Loyola suggests that those praying with the Resurrection of the Lord consider the divinity, which seemed to hide itself during the passion, now appearing and manifesting itself so miraculously in the most holy Resurrection in its true and most sacred effects.

Among the strongest effects is a release from fear. We are told over and over in scripture to not fear, to not worry, and to be at peace. What a gift it could be if we could remember that each day, regardless of what shocks come to us or what causes fear or what happens in the world in which we dwell.

This is Easter Sunday. That reminder about not fearing certainly comes to us from the Risen Lord. There was a message from an angel in Matthew’s Gospel at last evening’s Vigil. He was speaking to Mary Magdalene and the other Mary: Do not be afraid. They left the tomb with an odd combination of fear and great joy. Jesus met them and said, Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee.

Most of us would love to live our lives in the spirit of the Resurrection. That’s not possible. Too much in our lives and the world conspires against that. That’s probably okay. If we were living in bliss, we would no longer have need for God.

Easter grace is elusive and hard to pin down. I think of it whenever I pray with the Canticle of Zechariah, from Luke’s Gospel: In the tender compassion of our God the dawn from on high shall break upon us, to shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death, and to guide our feet into the way of peace.

It’s important to let the Resurrection’s grace do what it did for the disciples heading to Emmaus: Let it set our hearts on fire! Even if just for this day, let’s name some signs of hope in our world and in our hearts.

Philip Shano, SJ has many years of rich and varied experience working with Ignatian spirituality: teaching, writing and using it in his ministry. He resides in the Jesuit community in Pickering, Ontario.

  • Pat Mahon
    Posted at 07:19h, 12 April Reply

    Thank you
    Happy Easter and may the peace and grace of God be with yous always

  • Jeanette Woodley
    Posted at 08:20h, 12 April Reply

    Happy Easter Father Philip! He has risen indeed!

  • Craig Hincks
    Posted at 08:22h, 12 April Reply

    Thank you for this, Philip. Just what I needed. And I suspect I’m not alone!

  • Peter Bisson SJ
    Posted at 08:43h, 12 April Reply

    Thank you Very much Philip! Happy Easter!

  • Mariah Snyder
    Posted at 09:29h, 12 April Reply

    Thanks for reminding us to try to put away our fears one day at a time, starting with Easter.

  • Bernice
    Posted at 09:58h, 12 April Reply

    Thanks Fr. Shano. Blessings for a very happy Easter filled with Light and Hope.

  • Darnell Harvey
    Posted at 11:04h, 12 April Reply

    Thanks as, Jesus has risen from the dead, it is great to see the rest of the world rise up to the challenges that have been placed in front of us at this present time united like never before into the new future.

  • Lorraine Majcen
    Posted at 12:05h, 12 April Reply

    Happy Easter to you Fr Philip and all the readers of your message. Our joy and hope is in our risen Lord. He will prevail and not the spirit of fear. We know where that comes from. God is our protector and our strength, of whom shall we fear. May God bless you

  • suzanne renaud
    Posted at 12:38h, 12 April Reply

    Thank you for this uplifting message…..echoing the homily I heard from the Archbishop of Kingston today as we celebrated Mass on line.

  • Maria Skarzynski
    Posted at 21:41h, 12 April Reply

    Thank you Father Philip and a Happy Easter !!

  • Janice Ann Paul csja
    Posted at 00:54h, 13 April Reply

    In this time of living in fear for the elderly & the ones with bad immune systems I like what Father Phil said in reference to the Canticle of Zechariah
    In the tender compassion of our God the dawn from on high shall break a upon us.
    God’s compassion, mercy & love is our strong hold He is forever present in all trials of our life
    Janice Paul CSJA

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