As we continue to progress through the Easter Season, we have seen many recent signs of hope in our midst. The loosening of restrictions upon going out in public, the ability to interact with others–albeit while practicing social distancing, and our ability to return, if we are comfortable and well enough, to the public celebration of the Mass.
Although these signs of hope bring great joy and comfort, the constant change and adjustments brings its own form of stress, anxiety and fear. Stress as we continuously are having to adjust what we used to do or how we now need to do it; anxiety as to whether it is actually safe and whether we should be going out again; and fear that what opportunities have been given back might be taken away again.
While these are all legitimate and prudent concerns, and ones that parents, community and ministry leaders should be particularly attentive to addressing, we can easily get caught up in the doing required with adapting to all the changes around us, and we forget that the essence of the Easter season is about being.
More specifically, Easter is about celebrating the reality of our being in union with the One who loves us. The same One who loved us so much that He suffered, died and was buried, and was raised from the dead to ensure that it was possible for each of us to have eternal life in Heaven.
But right now, we find ourselves distracted from being in union with the One who loves us by all the activity associated with our seeking some sort of certainty in this great sea of change.
Many people are turning to experts, or civil authorities, or statistics from the latest scientific study to try and find some guidance, comfort and peace about what and how we need to move forward in these extraordinary times. But the reality is that there is only one certainty that will bring us true peace—the One who is Peace itself and in whom we will find rest.
Jesus told us, “Seek, and you will find.” But we must be actively seeking the One who is peace where He is to be found—in His Scriptures and in His Church, not in the things of the world. As we seek Him in our prayer, and in seeking to prudently avail ourselves of the graces present in His Sacraments now that they are available to us again, we must continuously strive to remember that we will only find relief from the anxieties of the world in direct correlation with the faith and trust we have in our Heavenly Father.
Saint Mother Teresa of Calcutta once said, “Loving trust is only the fruit of total surrender. You cannot trust unless you are one with the person. Total surrender and loving trust are twins.” (emphases mine)
To be at one with the Person of Christ means that we must surrender ourselves to love, in love.
Why? Because as Saint John tells us in his Gospel, “God is love.”
Love is what we are celebrating during Easter. The love of God who is Lover, Beloved and Love itself in the three Persons of the Godhead—Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Incidentally, this is partially why we celebrate Trinity Sunday the week after Pentecost. Because it is in the coming of the Holy Spirit that we see revealed for us the unity of God, and the fullness of the Divine Life to which we have been invited to share and live in our own lives by being in union with the One who is love.
For when we are in union with Him, we are filled with His love, and it is His love that transforms and overflows in us, so that with, through and in His Love we become witnesses of His love in the world. “By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:35).
So, during the Easter season we are to strive to be in union with love and to love others—just like the One who loves us.
Going back to Mother Teresa’s advice, to seek to have the divine life of love freely flowing within us, we must totally surrender ourselves to abide in, through and with our Lord in loving trust. And how do we trust? Through surrender. By surrendering our will to His will and being with Him in all the moments, activities and events of our lives—especially now, so that we may find the One who is Love, and be filled with His love, peace and joy and can then share that with those around us who are so desperately seeking answers in this sea of uncertainty and change.
For Christ is the light for the world because He is greater than sin, darkness, and death. He is the One certainty in this sea of change on which we are now sailing in this pandemic. Let us not be afraid to surrender ourselves to trustingly set out into the deep waters with the One who is love and loves us beyond measure.
As Mother Teresa so wisely shared, “You cannot trust unless you are one with the person.” Let us each day of this Easter Season to seek to be one with the person of Christ, united in love with Him and all those around us–each and every moment of each and every day, all the way to eternity.
Christina Semmens is a Roman Catholic author of the soon to be published book, Say Yes: Discovering Purpose, Peace and Abundance in Daily Life, as well as speaker, coach and host of the Say Yes to Holiness podcast. She currently lives in Fort Payne, Alabama where she strives to live out a life of authentic discipleship in the pursuit of holiness while empowering, teaching and accompanying others in striving to do the same.
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