An Easter Unlike Any Other

(posted: May 1 2020)


(Covid 19 Reflection #2)

Jesus appears to the disciples (watercolour)
by William Hole (1846 - 1917)
On the evening of the first day of the week,
even though the disciples had locked the doors of the place where they were
for fear of the Jews,
Jesus came and stood before them.
John 20:19
That passage from John’s gospel sums up Holy Week and Easter 2020 pretty well. We were behind closed doors, not in fear of any civil authority, but in fear of contracting or spreading the deadly COVID 19 virus. Just as fearful as our predecessors in faith, we stayed at home. The doors of our churches were closed, all of them, from the smallest chapel to the grandest basilica. Instead of gathering as communities, large and small, we sheltered in place and watched on television as our priests celebrated the events of Jesus death and resurrection, alone, in churches that appeared cavernous without the presence of the people of God.

It was sad and strange. But it wasn’t the first time in our history that the faithful have been denied the blessings of gathering and worshipping together.

On the first Easter, Jesus’ friends were hiding, afraid and alone until the women Jesus revealed himself to, arrived to bring news of the resurrection. Still afraid, they remained behind locked doors until Jesus himself appeared with “Peace”.

Throughout our history there have been persecutions, plagues and political upheavals; many of them resulting in the faithful being without sacraments and without public worship. Often these trials have made us stronger.

Blessed Rosalie Rendu was born during one of those times.

Jeanne Marie Rendu was three years old when the Revolution broke out in France.
From 1790 it was compulsory for the clergy to take an oath of support for the civil Constitution.
Numerous priests, faithful to the Church, refused to take this oath.
They were chased from their parishes, some were put to death
and others had to hide to escape their pursuers.
The Rendu family became a refuge for these priests.
The Bishop of Annecy found asylum under the assumed name of Pierre….

It was in this atmosphere of solid faith, always exposed to the dangers of denunciation,
that Jeanne Marie was educated.
She would make her first communion one night, by candlelight in the basement of her home.
This exceptional environment forged her character.
( from ‘The Charitable Nun – Feast of Blessed Rosalie Rendu’
by Shirley Aaron

May isolation bring us closer to God and to each other.


Spirituality Corner

Monthly Reflections
by Denise Bondy, Chair
ONRC Spirituality Committee