At Easter, we obviously reflect on how, Jesus *conquers the darkness of death by rising to life. The Resurrection of Jesus is a powerful reminder that death will not have the last word. And during these strange times, we need to hear and believe that message all the more. There’s a saying we often use during such times of national and global difficulty: “We’re all in the same boat”; a good analogy especially for a sea faring nation like ours. It’s a way of describing the fact that certain events in life are not discriminative, that none of us are completely independent and that each of us experience, eventually, the same, good or bad as one another, depending on our life choices. Without doubt, the pandemic of 2020 has certainly put ALL of us in the “same boat”. Growing up in the 1960s and 70’s “CORONA” was, for me, a brand of fizzy pop we drank to quench the thirst of long hot summer days, now it is something that has changed our lives, our rituals and even our rites too.
In St. Matthew’s Gospel 8:23-27 we read: 23Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him. 24Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. 25The disciples went and woke him, saying, "LORD, save us! We're going to drown!" 26He replied, "You of little faith, why are you so afraid?" Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm. 27The men were amazed and asked, "What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!"
The dark storm that presently batters our world has left many bereft, as they grieve the loss not only of loved ones, but also as they ponder and plan the no fuss “send offs” attended by few. And compounding that sorrow our churches remain closed, Masses are celebrated privately and the Sacraments are put on hold to await better days. During this time of most need, it may seem to some, that Jesus is asleep at the stern, oblivious to our call “LORD, save us!”
At Easter, Jesus’ awakening from physical death in the darkness of a sealed tomb and the story of how he rebuked the stormy winds and calmed a turbulent sea, reminds us that no matter how difficult things my appear, through our baptism and our faith, in him, we too are saved from the darkness of death to rise in the glory of Life everlasting. On behalf of the Catholic Police Guild of England & Wales, I wish you all a very Blessed Easter.
Fr. Barry Lomax The National Chaplain.