May the blessings of Easter be upon you,
St Paul of the Cross writes:
“The Passion of Jesus is a sea of sorrows, but also an ocean of love.
Ask the Lord to teach you to fish in this ocean.”
I have been reflecting on these words.
Truly we have been experiencing what feels like a sea of sorrows. The war in the Ukraine. Conflicts in other parts of our world. The sixth wave of Covid. Having to honestly look at the negative parts of the Church’s participation in colonialism and its sins. Struggles and crosses in our own families. Discouragement from wrestling with our own weaknesses. Yes, there is much that connects us to Jesus and His carrying the cross for us.
But what effect is this sea of sorrows having upon us?
Is it making us meaner or kinder?
Harder or more full of compassion?
All of us will have our bad days, but we ask God to fill us more with his love especially in our struggles.
I think the miracle of Easter is that God is able to take suffering and bring new life. We are praying for this to happen in our Church and in each of our families and hearts.
Like new leaves appearing on the branches there are signs of God’s love reaching our world.
The meeting of Pope Francis with indigenous delegates from Canada was very significant. He listened to each of the groups describe their experience of Canada’s history. His response was from his heart and helpful. Reconciliation is a long and challenging journey, but this and a visit by the Pope to Canada are some signs of life and love.
After all this time of Covid we are choosing to be together again. Madeline Spence from Nelson House said, “I feel like I have been in jail!” I don’t know about you, but I do not take for granted our chance to gather again and visit; to joke with each other and pray together. It is so important to have the contact and closeness to each other again. While there is still need for some caution, we are moving in the right direction and we need each other.
So this Easter time I invite you to allow the Passion of Jesus to strengthen your hope and your love. May we fish in God’s ocean by inviting Him into all parts of our lives. The sufferings continue, but Jesus is using them to make our hearts more loving and open.
May the grace of Easter be at work in all of us and our world.
Archbishop Murray Chatlain