So that’s Easter over for this year. Back to Gaza, and queues in A & E, and the soaring price of food. But hang on a minute. Easter actually stretches until Pentecost, or Whitsun. This year, that is on 19th May. Why so long?

We need a full seven weeks to grasp its meaing. The Resurrection of Christ was not just another event in human history. It was the event that changed the meaning of every other event. To Christian eyes, everything about the world looks different.

Jesus is not just a character from first century Palestine, but alive and present now. God is not distant and solitary, but dynamic, relational, engaged with us. My life is not random and exposed, but guided and protected by a loving Providence. We are not trapped by our failures, but liberated by a profound forgiveness. I am not an isolated individual, but a member of the living body of the Church. It is not up to me to achieve success: God’s power will do that through me. And the meaning of that success is not money, status, power, or pleasure, but love.

We also need time to rejoice. ‘Sing with your life, so as never to be silent,’ wrote St Augustine. The bombs, the pandemics and the foodbanks have not gone away. But for Christian believers, they no longer define our world. We sing, not because everything is rosy. We sing because in the deepest darkness, the flame of love cannot be quenched.

Written by Sr Margaret Atkins, Boarbank Hall, Allithwaite.

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