This Holy Week, Catherine Gorman from CAFOD’s Theology team reflects on what Easter means to her, and how hope can transform lives.
Easter is swiftly approaching. It is a time of joy, when hope and faith are renewed. The long waiting of Lent is almost over, and finally the time to celebrate will be here. The light of the risen Christ shines through all ages, breathing new life, bringing mercy and conquering darkness.
It is so easy to get caught up in ourselves, to feel like we have to do everything on our own. I know, for instance, that I am often unwilling to ask for help. I prefer struggle on, getting more and more frustrated and disheartened, than to burden anyone else with my difficulties.
Finally, I snap at whoever is nearest, and whichever friend or loved one is bearing the brunt of my rage says, “Why didn’t you ask? I can help you.” Just as I would, if the situation were reversed. I feel foolish for not having believed in the love that others have for me, for not counting myself worthy of their kindness.
God loves us so much, he sent his only Son to live among us and to die for us, bearing our burdens. Christ is risen, so that we might have new life. But, just as I sometimes fail to trust in my friends’ love, it can be hard to believe that this new life is available to me too.
Use our Stations of the Cross for private reflection or with a group
Love transforms lives
In his Easter message a few years ago, Pope Francis said: “Let us be renewed by God’s mercy, let us be loved by Jesus, let us enable the power of his love to transform our lives too; and let us become agents of this mercy, channels through which God can water the earth, protect all creation and make justice and peace flourish.” (Urbi et Orbi, Easter 2013.)
This really strikes a chord with me. And so, difficult as it is, I will try to open myself to God’s mercy and love at Easter and allow it to flow through me to others.
Working for CAFOD, I am privileged to see and hear about the very real way in which people’s lives are transformed through the love of others who they will never even meet. We can literally be channels that bring water to those who need it.
One such woman is Beauty, 29, who lives in Zimbabwe. She used to spend five hours a day walking for water. Now there is water in her village thanks to a new well.
Standing by the tap, where the water flows freely, she says, “When I came here the first time I was very happy. I was so happy that water was now near.”
The joy of the resurrection
The joy of the resurrection shows me that I cannot give up hope. This hope transforms the way I look at the world. It helps me to see that, through God’s grace, I can achieve anything. And that I can support others to achieve their dreams too.
“This day was made by the Lord; we rejoice and are glad.” Psalm 117
This Easter then, I rejoice with Beauty. And I give thanks for all those who have been agents of mercy, channels of God in my life, and in the lives of our brothers and sisters throughout the world.