By Robin Gomes
In their Easter message, the 13 patriarchs and heads of Churches of Jerusalem note that in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, the whole world at this time is going through a state of fear, anxiety and ambiguity. Many countries are facing much loss and grief, and infected cases are on the rise.
Desolation of pandemic
Jerusalem, the City of the Resurrection and Christ’s Empty Tomb, is empty of pilgrims, note the 13 patriarchs and heads of Churches of Jerusalem.
Among them are Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa, the Apostolic Administrator of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, and Franciscan Father Francesco Patton, the Custos of the Holy Land.
Lent, Holy Week, and Easter this year, the leaders observe, have been surrounded by many questions in the light of the suffering, illness, death and lockdowns around the globe. The coronavirus challenge has thrown into turmoil people, communities institutions and even the world economy and global health have not been spared.
Resurrection - a time of renewal of hope
However, “The Feast of the Resurrection is a time of renewal of hope, restoration and victory over all forms of death and destruction.”
The leaders say, “We believe that our God is the God of the living and not of the dead.” “The Resurrection is our assurance that even in the midst of death and suffering, God is there and Christ’s death gives us the victory.”
Mutual support and prayer
“The Resurrection calls upon our human family toward a time of renewal and a way forward into the future, away from oppression, discrimination, hunger, and injustice.”
“The Easter message this year coming from Jerusalem,” the patriarchs and heads of Churches of Jerusalem say, “is a reminder of the Resurrection itself: ‘He is not here, but is risen!’”
The leaders remind Christians that their mission as followers of Christ and as human beings “is to support each other and to continue to pray for all people during this pandemic.”
“The mighty power and grace of the Resurrection offer us hope, healing, and victory over this pandemic and all dark situations.”