In our current climate of concern in light of the COVID-19, I want to share a meditation written by Fr. Luis Espinal. He was a Jesuit priest who was assassinated by paramilitary troops in Bolivia in 1980. This was written shortly before his death.
- “There are Christians who have hysterical reactions, as if the world would have slipped out of God’s hands. They act violently as if they were risking everything. But we believe in history; the world is not a roll of the dice going toward chaos. A new world has begun to happen since Christ has risen…
- Jesus Christ, we rejoice in your definitive triumph… with our bodies still in the breach and our souls in tension, we cry out our first “Hurrah!” till eternity unfolds itself. Your sorrow now has passed. Your enemies have failed. You are a definitive smile for humankind.
- What matter the wait now for us? We accept the struggle and the death; because you, our love, will not die! We march behind you, on the road to the future. You are with us and you are our immortality! Take away the sadness from our faces. We are not in a game of chance… You have the last word!
- Beyond the crushing of our bones, now has begun the eternal “alleluia!” From the thousand openings of our wounded bodies and souls there arises now a triumphal song! So, teach us to give voice to your new life throughout all the world. Because you dry the tears from the eyes of the oppressed forever… and death will disappear…” – Fr. Espinal
“We are not in a game of chance.” That is a good reminder. God has this! I do not say this to imply we shove down our fears and have a Pollyanna view. There is nothing wrong with being afraid. We acknowledge and address our fear. Yet at the same time, we hang on to the truth that Christ is the victor. We maintain our commitment to be instruments of God in this as in all situations.
It is in times of tragedy that the Church shines. We step up to serve and love. This happens in the individual tragedies of loss and pain in our congregations and communities. It also must happen as we accept the opportunity to lead in service and love in this worldwide crisis. God is with us! Christ is the “definitive smile for humankind.” It is our privilege as those who carry his name to “give voice to Christ’s new life throughout all the world!”
Grace and peace to you,