This is certainly a strange Easter for all of us. I, for one, would not have expected that my first Easter as a priest would be celebrated with so few people in church! Some people might think it unusual to celebrate Easter in such a situation, but I think there is no better time to celebrate the Resurrection of Our Lord. After all, even on that first Easter, the Church was prevented from assembling publicly due to the high tensions in Jerusalem which led to Jesus’ Passion and Death. Yet, although all of them could not assemble together, the Lord’s disciples assuredly all heard the incredibly good news that the women brought with them from the empty tomb that Sunday morning: “He is Risen!”
That same good news continues to give the Church joy and hope thousands of years later, even in the midst of this pandemic. Not even death could separate Jesus from us. Why should we think that the joyful news of His Resurrection should be dampened by a pandemic, as widespread and dangerous as this one might be? Our Lord’s victory over sin, sickness, and death continues to be the one lasting source of hope that we have in this world.
Even though we are apart, I pray that the joyful news of Our Lord’s Resurrection may be a light for you and your family this Easter. May the Resurrection of Jesus show all of us that God has not made us for suffering and death, but that He has made us for eternal life in His own beloved Son. May the news that the women brought with them from the empty tomb resonate in our hearts and increase the hope that our God wants us to have especially during these days: “He is truly Risen!”
With prayers for your health and holiness,
Fr. Ethan Hokamp