2020-04-10 GENERAL HOUSE

Br. Ben Consigli, Councilor General: Time of hope

Br. Ben Consigli
Councilor General

In his book, A Cry for Mercy, Henri Nouwen reminds us that the “Easter season is a time of hope. There still is fear, there still is a painful awareness of sinfulness, but there also is light breaking throughSomething new is happening, something that goes beyond the changing moods of our life. We can be joyful or sad, optimistic or pessimistic, tranquil or angry, but the solid stream of God’s presence moves deeper than the small waves of our minds and hearts.” If anything, today’s pandemic challenges us to see God amid all the fear, anxiety, and death that has gripped the world.  And yet, God is with us — in the gentle care of a neighbor, in the “little virtues” of our brothers and sisters in community, in the love of our family and friends, in the self-sacrifice of our health care ministers, in the grocery store workers who provide the availability of food, and in all those who offer service and comfort during so much uncertainty.

Easter brings the awareness that God is present even when His presence in not directly noticed. Easter brings the good news that, although things seem to get worse in the world, the darkness has already been overcome. Easter allows us to affirm that although God seems very distant at times and although we remain preoccupied with many things and worries, we are reminded that our Lord walks with us on the road and keeps explaining the Scriptures to us.” He is never really far from us. Thus, there are many rays of hope casting their light on our journey.

Easter is all about hope: Jesus conquered death to give us life.  Pope Francis, in his reflections during a past Easter vigil, called us “to remember what God has done and continues to do for me, for us, to remember the road we have traveled — this is what opens our hearts to hope for the future. May we learn to remember everything that God has done in our lives.” That is because Jesus is hope, as Francis reminded us at his first general audience: “He healed, comforted, understood — gave hope. He led all to the presence of God.”

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Br. Ben Consigli, Councilor General

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