On Good Friday morning, I received an Easter basket from my sister. I was really excited about it and also surprised. In it, there was a bottle of Easter wine, there were some chocolate Easter eggs, and beautiful flowers from her garden, some azaleas and some daffodils. There were anti-septic wipes, latex gloves, and what I was really happy about, a little mask to cover my face when I go to the store.

How things have changed as to what we look for in an Easter basket. Since the beginning of March, how our world has been overturned by sadness and yet also by great heroism and great generosity of spirit.

The last chapter of the Constitutions of the Congregation of Holy Cross—the rule of life for Holy Cross priests and brothers—is entitled The Cross, Our Hope, which talks about not only the cross but also resurrection and new life.

In one of the paragraphs, it refers to resurrection for us as a daily event and it goes on to list what that means. 

The reconciliation of people who have been estranged is resurrection as a daily event.

It speaks about a priest, a religious, a doctor beside the bed of a patient or a family member who has passed and that sense of mercy and peace.

It speaks about a whole nation waking up to issues of injustice and how that’s resurrection as a daily event.

And I think about where we find ourselves this Easter morn—those great acts of grace and generosity demonstrated for us each day by doctors, nurses, and EMTs who give so much of themselves to care for those who are sick. We see as resurrection that moment of grace and mercy as a daily event.

We see it in parents who demonstrate great patience during these days with children home 24-7, and  I am sure children, too, demonstrate great patience with their parents and young people.

We (see) that sense of resurrection as a daily event when people in Brooklyn in the balconies there clap every night as a sign of applause to those healthcare workers.

As florists in the city of Boston who put out a beautiful display of flowers for healthcare workers to take home at Easter.

I think of resurrection as a daily event when neighbors reach out to those who for whatever reason can’t get to the store because of health, infirmity or age and they bring groceries to them as resurrection.

In these daily events, these acts of mercy, these acts of grace, we see the presence of the risen Lord.

Saint Peter in today’s first reading talks about being a witness to Easter, being a witness to Christ, being a witness to the presence, the power, the mercy and grace of the risen Lord. I think that’s what we are called to embody during these days of pandemic and COVID-19—to be witnesses of the risen Lord.

That passage of the Constitution says that we walk by Easter’s first light and we long for its fullness. 

And truly, we walk with Easter’s first light. We walk with the grace of the risen Lord near us to comfort,  to encourage and to empower us to be his witness. What a wonderful day, Easter, for Christ has risen and Christ lives with us, lives with the church, lives with the world and lives with all people.

And invites us, especially his disciples, to be like Peter, John and Mary, faithful witnesses who walk in Easter’s first light. May we all know its fullness.