by Sr. Sara Dwyer, ASC
Celebrating Easter, with the lilies and the tulips, and singing Alleluia is easy. Even joyfully energizing! But, then comes the 50 days season of Easter. What, you say? Yes, the season of Lent is 40 days; the Easter season is 50! For many of us, ‘celebrating joyfully’ for 50 gets as challenging as ‘sacrificing sincerely’ for 40! The sorrows, struggles, injustices and the crosses we bear seem easier to identify with than believing in “something” (justice and truth) and someone (Jesus Christ, Risen) we can’t see.
Now, as women and men committed to works of justice and peace, this is our season: Hope is believing in what you can’t see. As Hebrews 11:1, states: Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.
Like the disciples, we walk in the light and faith continuing to believe that life is stronger than death and violence; love is deeper than indifference and intolerance; and hope is securer than fear and doubt. This Easter season can re-charge our energies to continue our advocacy and witness in protesting unjust social systems in our cities, country and world. It can mean having that conversation with another person ‘on the road,’ and, then, together telling others what you experienced!
As Kate Mroz, in GOD IN ALL THINGS, shares: “It can mean no longer being afraid of approaching the homeless man on the street with an offering of food and a smile. It can mean reaching out to someone who we know is ill or grieving instead of being too afraid because we do know what to say. It can mean standing up for the person being bullied, instead of being a silent bystander.”
For us, it can mean selecting a cause, an issue, an elected official or agency, to pray for, believing they will come ‘to see’ the way of justice and truth. Each of us can do something to spread our uncontainable belief in the power of the Risen One to bring justice to those burdened by injustices.
So, I invite you to expand your advocacy to include contacting your elected officials, especially your Congressional leaders, by calling or writing, to tell them you are praying that they support: the agreement with Iran; immigration reforms with a path to citizenship and an end to deportations; the Affordable Care Act; requirements for fair taxes for corporations; raising the minimum wage; addressing racism in all its forms; sustaining social service program and Social Security; limiting fossil fuels; sustainability policies for all industries; increase screenings for gun purchases; efforts to address human trafficking; an end to the ‘three strikes and your out’ and enacting restorative justice processes; new laws to strengthen consequences for domestic abuse and cutting monies to the Department of Defense in order to limit the militarization of our national budget. Add your favorite cause, group or concern!!
Walk the Emmaus Road with at least one of the causes that makes your heart burn!
What an amazing Easter season this can be! Pray always and do what you can to plant the seeds of love and justice and witness to our belief in Risen Life!