Celebrating Easter during a global pandemic
Easter this year will be different for everyone due to the tense atmosphere surrounding coronavirus and the ways in which most of us will be forced to celebrate this year in isolation.
However, the COVID-19 pandemic is bringing to light, perhaps more than ever, how our faith lies within us and in the community of people in isolation spreading prayers and messages of hope to others worldwide.
The words of the Cardinal Gualtiero Bassetti, president of the CEI, compel us to show solidarity and responsibility for those around us as we are all dependent on one another during times of such uncertainty : “The impossibility of participating at Easter Masses this year is an act of generosity. It is our duty to respect all those who, within this emergency, are in the front line, and, with a great risk for their safety, take care of sick people and make sure that everything that is of first necessity is not missing”.
During this time, online social platforms have become realms to connect with one another – enabling us to feel less lonely during this prolonged quarantine. Even the church has made mass easily accessible online so that we can continue to feel connected to our spiritual community during these challenging times.
As many of us have been forced to stay at home and slow down our daily lives we are learning to appreciate what we have and those around us as we give more importance to the essential things in life and are rediscovering the beauty of simplicity and time spent with loved ones.
With this newfound clarity we can perhaps come closer to the message of the Gospel as we remember those vulnerable communities who find themselves in much more challenging circumstances than ourselves at this time. In the poorest parts of the world, from conflict zones to refugee camps, besides the difficulties in accessing health care and in practicing social distancing, there is no way of using online platforms to connect to others and feel this sense of solidarity.
The #Covid19 global pandemic is highlighting how those who do not have access to the web, which according to the International Telecommunications Union is 53,6% of the global population, are excluded from receiving vital public health information.
Furthermore, in an attempt to slow down the spread of the virus, the closure of schools in African suburbs, in the poorest cities of Asia and in conflict zones across the Middle East has heightened the vulnerability of children who do not have the possibility of following online lessons. Those who without access to online learning are therefore deprived of the fundamental right to education, which, in turn, further widens the inequality gap worldwide. However, this Easter, let us turn to our faith as a source of strength to endure this pandemic together. I wish all of you a Holy Easter and I hope you will keep all those communities in need in your prayers at this time.
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