Fr. Allen’s Thoughts for Easter Sunday

Fr. Allen’s Thoughts for Easter Sunday

Rev. Charles Allen, S.J.

Rev. Charles Allen, S.J.

A Reflection from Rev. Charles Allen, S.J., Fairfield University Chaplain

God’s promises are always there in front of us — so easy to see when life is good — but so challenging to behold when life is difficult. 

— Fr. Allen

This has been a strange and somewhat difficult two weeks preparing for Easter. On the Tuesday before Palm Sunday, I took a fall on the Alumni House stairs and eventually ended up in the emergency room of St. Vincent’s Hospital. The end result is that I have been quarantined in the Jesuit Community Center for two weeks.

This has given me more than enough time for prayer and reflection on the death of our Savior, Jesus Christ. As I reflected on the crucifixion of our Lord, three things came to mind:

First, he also was quarantined or separated from family and friends. Yes, his mother and a few of the most dedicated of his followers were there, but is this a situation that any son would want his mother to see? John the Apostle, whom Jesus loved, was there, but again is this the way that Jesus would have wanted to be seen by one whom he loved so much?

The presence of friends in times of suffering can be such a blessing, but also a challenge to our own sense of identity and dignity. As we contemplate the crucifixion of Jesus, let us ask ourselves: who are the friends whom we would like at our side in times of trouble and personal pain? Let us pray that they will be there when we need them.

Second, there is the question of physical pain. Jesus suffered and he suffered terribly. In the days after my fall and return to the Jesuit residence, I kept waiting for the pain to subside. Yes, it lessened, but it has still to leave me completely. St. Paul tells us that in our pain we are one with the suffering of Jesus. My third-grade teacher, Sr. Kevin, CSJ, used to tell us that through our suffering — if we offer it up to God — we can free some of the souls in purgatory. Do we have enough faith to allow us to find meaning in our suffering? So that we can use it to do some good for others?

Third, Jesus always had the presence of God, his loving father, and the joy of returning to his heavenly kingdom before him. Do we have a vision of where this quarantine and the suffering of disease may lead us? God’s promises are always there in front of us — so easy to see when life is good — but so challenging to behold when life is difficult. 

On this Easter Sunday, despite our quarantine and personal suffering, can we see beyond the present to the resurrection of the Lord and the promises that await us in the future?

AMEN

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Last modified: 04-09-20 8:50 AM

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