Dear readers and fellow bloggers:
Good morning. We wish a Happy Easter to all our Christian relatives and friends around the world. We are anxiously waiting the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ tomorrow, Easter Sunday. It is, together with Christmas festivity, the holiest day of the year for Christians and we always respected it. Our brother Gustavo yesterday reminded us that a day like today, Good Friday, we used to go to the Nuestro Señor de la Paciencia, a very old church in the Old City (Ciuda Vieja) of Montevideo, Uruguay, with our mother Gladys and our grandmother Yolanda. In fact it s a quaint little church below a bigger one, sitting in its basement with an access through a very steep marble stairwell. We slowly descended, firmly holding the arms of our ageing grandmother, until we reached it.
At the altar, an image of a sitting Jesus Christ reminds us of the value of patience and being patient. All around the walls, there are hopeful little mementos (limbs, hearts, heads, etc.) that the Faithful had planted after fervently praying for the well-being of their loved ones with their personal wishes. In our novel Madame D.C, – Three Voyages , we described the visit of our characters to this site. It has always been a site of strong emotional significance to us, Montevideanos, and we miss it badly. Due to its precarious architectural parameters, it had been open only on Good Fridays for decades. Today, due to the pandemic restrictions, it will remain closed. Closing our eyes, we are right there.
Note– This image of Caravaggio’s The Incredulity of Saint Thomas was taken from Wikimedia Commons. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:The_Incredulity_of_Saint_Thomas-Caravaggio_(1601-2).jpg
According to Saint John’s Gospel, Saint Thomas was the only disciple of Jesus Christ that doubted his resurrection on Easter Sunday, saying that he would not believe it until he personally poked his finger in Christ’s wounds with his own finger. He missed the first appearance of Jesus Christ to his disciples. Then Jesus Christ appeared to him and prodded him to put his finger inside his wounds. After Thomas made sure that he was in front of Jesus Christ resurrected, Our Savior told him:
“Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” John 20:29.
Caravaggio reproduced this Biblical tale in that great masterpiece painted around 1601-1602 and now housed in the Sans Souci gallery of Potsdam, Germany. In these terrible pandemic times, many of us are asking the same question: “how come God allowed this tragedy to unfold over Mankind?” With all the extra burden shoved on our financial and familiar dimensions, due to the draconian Public Health measures that severely limit our mobility, our faith is being put to the test everyday. How many times have we paused for a few seconds to mull over the same painful question:
“Why did you abandon us God? WHY?!!!”
Let us pause for a moment and reflect on the many blessings that we have in this valley of tears. The big scientific advances of the last few years have enabled the design and creation of good vaccines. The new Biden-Harris administration has efficiently distributed million of doses all over the country. Both my children and myself are now vaccinated and protected against the ravages of Covid-19.
How can we avoid feeling that God has always been at our side and never let go of our hands?
But the deliverance from this pandemic must make us reflect about the future course of our lives. We cannot go back to our ill-advised consumerism that is gravely damaging our planet’s ecosystem. We cannot ignore that millions of human beings are living in miserly conditions all over the world. We cannot tolerate that warmongering among nations, tribes, groups, etc., are destroying families. And we have to stop deluding ourselves that, even if we ignore the above, we can “save our skin.”
“Gésu était en agonie jusqu’à la fin du monde. Il ne fau pas dormir pendant ce temps-là.” (Jesus was in agony until the end of the world. We should not be sleeping during that time) Blaise Pascal
This is no time to go back to our old “sleep mode.” It is time to wake up and take positive action.
Thank you very much God Almighty.
What do you think? Please tell us.
Don’t leave me alone.