Live Easter at Home as a Domestic Church, Nourished by Prayer and the Word of God

by | Apr 7, 2020 | Formation, Reflections

Easter is approaching, and for some days we have been wondering: how will we celebrate it? In the light of faith we can make this moment of distress and sorrow an opportunity to deepen and grow in faith.

First of all, it must be clearly understood that the pandemic COVID-19 is not a divine punishment that arose for this Lenten season, in the face of which we should pray that God will stop this sanction. Concepts such as this are the result of a distorted image of God and his intervention in history. Like the ashes received at the beginning of Lent, this whole situation reveals our human frailty and at the same time shows us that only in Jesus will we find the way, the truth, and the life (Jn 14: 6) the One who calls us to live fully in communion, charity and hope.

Therefore, after this Lenten season we will celebrate Easter, but certainly something will be different: unable to unite as an assembly in our churches, we will pray from our homes by means of celebrations broadcast on TV, social networks or radio. We should be careful not to give in to a passive faith, which only watches the celebrations, but find a way to participate, grateful for the creative effort of so many ministers of the Church who seek to become present to us.

However, we must have the courage to take a further step! We can express the vitality of our faith in other ways as well. Beyond all that has been said, this occasion offers us an opportunity to rediscover ourselves as a Domestic Church, “where there are two or three gathered in my name, there I am in the midst of them” (Mt 18:20). We are invited, as a family, to pray by dedicating a special time to reading and meditating on the biblical texts related to these days, trying to read them in our own Bible, with dignity and attention (Verbum Domini 85). As a family gathered in prayer in the Easter light, we can strengthen our faith and discover ourselves as a place in which mystical presence of the risen Lord becomes alive in our midst (Amoris Laetitia 317). We can also pray  the Liturgy of the Hours, which can accompany us in the celebration of Easter or be discovered for those who do not know it.

The vitality of a prayer community is not measured by the number of people who gather. Even if two or three do so as a Domestic Church in the name of Christ, we are assured of the presence of Jesus because he is Emmanuel, “God with us” (Mt 1:23), the risen Christ who is with us all days, even to the end of the world (Mt 28,20).

We can welcome this opportunity to shine a light on the painful reality in our present world with the Word of God and discern the revelation of Jesus’ passion, death, and resurrection made present in those who offer their life to the world today: the cross of this pandemic, selfless and anonymous service, responsibility for others, prayer, and care for the most fragile.

And even when pain and death visit so many people, we celebrate in Christ the life that conquers death, since he took on our sufferings (Is 53,4) and opened the way for new life for us: buried with him in baptism, we also rise with him through faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead (Col 2:12).

Eliezer Okonosky, CM
Province of Curitiba

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