“I will put my spirit in you that you may come to life, and I will settle you in your land. Then you shall know that I am the Lord. ” Ezekial 37:14
In this Easter season, we immerse ourselves in the celebrations, rituals and the stories of the resurrection. In popular culture we decorate with the joyful symbols of new life – Easter eggs and flowers, perhaps without reflecting on their deeper meanings. Even as we celebrate new life, the ordinary realities of loss and death continue in our families, with accompanying feelings of loss, anger, confusion and grief…even despair. These significant losses may be caused by a severe or chronic illness, the death of a loved one, the ending of a significant relationship or friendship, the loss of a job, or the loss of independence, having to move from a familiar home and friends into a nursing home. Whatever the loss, it means in some way the end of our old life.
Many of the people we serve at Catholic Charities come to us because they have experienced some deep loss. It may be the loss of a loved one. It may be the loss of mental capacity due to a severe mental illness or dementia, or of mobility due to a physical illness, or the loss of independence because of committing a crime or because of age and disability. People come to us because of the loss of their jobs, their homes, their countries, their legal status, their language. People come to Catholic Charities when there is nowhere else to turn. But they haven’t lost their dignity and hope. When people come to Catholic Charities, I believe it is because they do have hope and they have the courage to ask for help. They trust in the hope of a new life.
And they come to us for help because we, too, are a people of hope. As a resurrection people we create hope in a new life when we help heal wounded hearts and minds and feed bodies and souls, when we teach new skills to young and old, when we build housing, when we create jobs, when we welcome immigrants and refugees, when we advocate for justice and build just and compassionate communities.
And ultimately we are able to do this because the Spirit of the Lord is upon us and fills us, too, with the spirit of hope of new life. Thank you to all who join us and support us in this community of hope.