The message of the Resurrection of Christ hides no mystery. It is not the secret teaching of a sect. It is the absolute salvific message of hope for mankind.
True, the Resurrection we will celebrate today does not remind us of past Paschas and the services we attended with our parents and grandparents.
A Resurrection service with the doors of the churches closed is reminiscent of other, darker times in our history. When the authorities persecuted the Christians. When they tortured them and executed them.
Indeed, Christians are being persecuted in various parts of the world today. But for us, the condition of closed churches is imposed upon us by another kind of ‘ruler,’ or enemy – an invisible, insidious, cruel, and aggressive one – the coronavirus.
However, the message of the Resurrection remains the same, regardless of whether our holy churches are closed or open.
In the unprecedented age we live in, the ‘Age of the Coronavirus’ – as historians will probably call it – it is easy to feel despair.
Hospitals are overflowing with patients. The dead are multiplying. Some of them are thrown into mass graves. Hunger in the richest country in the world is now taking the lives of some of its population.
In a society with a limited social safety net, housing, food and health insurance may not exist from one moment to the next.
The situation we now live in can even put a person’s faith to the test: How is this possible? How does God allow it?
But if we look back at the history of epidemics, we find that this is not the first time humanity has been severely tested.
Here are some examples: the Spanish flu (1918) claimed the lives of at least 20 million people. The Influenza pandemic of 1957-1958 caused 2 million deaths. The Cholera pandemic (1899-1923) took 1.5 million lives – and HIV has killed 39 million people.
And yet, mankind survived. Progress marched on. Science performed its miracles.
Personally, I have no doubt that the same will happen now. And much faster than we think. America has a huge scientific community that has discovered incredible things, especially in recent decades.
There are powerful forces and incentives in operation. Many institutions and corporations, thousands of scientists are working day and night to save lives, to win a Nobel prize for their country and to win monetary rewards from the pharmaceutical market!
I can’t imagine that we will be waiting much longer for them to find drugs to treat the infected, and for vaccines later on.
Have confidence. Have hope.
Happy Easter to all of you, wherever you live on Earth.
With love and gratitude!