We are people of hope

    March 30, 2024

    This is a day of silence: silence from the Gospels and silence from the Church.

    Not one of the Gospels tells the story of Holy Saturday; they go from the crucifixion to the resurrection with no mention of the time in between.

    Today, there are no Masses until the great Easter Vigil that begins after sundown.

    There is only silence. We are in that time between what was and what might be; between what we know and what we fear.

    Yesterday’s Good Friday liturgy included a reading from the Gospel of John, in which the last words of Jesus were, “It is finished.” But is it? Yes. And no.

    Jesus’ life on earth has ended. However, that does not mean that his story is over. He still had the resurrection and the ascension into heaven. After that lies eternity.

    Think back on the great stories of the Bible. Was it over for the Hebrew people when they were trapped between the forces of Pharaoh and the Red Sea? Was it over the Israelites when they were held in captivity by the Babylonians? At the time, they may have thought so, but God was working to ensure life would turn out differently than they expected.

    God came to them in their time of distress; God is here for us as well. That is why we are people of hope, not people of fear.

    “Loving God, on days when the outlook is dark, help us to cling to hope and not to fear, to trust that you are with us in whatever difficulties we might face.”

    Deacon Walter Ayres recently retired as Director of Catholic Charities Commission on Peace and Justice in the Diocese of Albany, New York.

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