Easter Reflection by LCUSA President Mary Ann Dantuono
Acts of the Apostles 10:34a, 37-43; Colossians 3:1-4; John 20:1-9
I am an Easter person. I love the spring season with buds bursting on trees and bulbs breaking through the soil. But more importantly, I like the idea that things do not have stay the same. The bareness and cold of winter can and will turn to the beauty of spring. I believe in second chances, “do overs” and “one more time” in order to get it right.
So it is not surprising that Easter is the feast that is at the core of my being. I recognize that to get to Easter, we need to look back at Lent, for me particularly to the women of Lent. In Lent, the biblical women “get it.” The woman at the well proclaims that she met the messiah who knew all about her. Martha and Mary recognized the Christ, who had a special relationship with the Father. The women of Calvary embrace Jesus’s suffering, wipe His face, stand at the foot of the cross and weep at His passing.
The Cross is essential. Human suffering cannot be avoided. With the cross of Christ, suffering can challenge the “status quo” and lead to new life. We the Ladies of Charity understand. We are with the suffering and marginalized. We believe that what is, does not have to always be the same. We pray and we care with enormous Vincentian hearts. We challenge systems, we seek new ways, and we give many second chances to persons who are sick, poor and marginalized. We help many become part of the new creation.
Easter sweeps us into salvation history. One Easter I was about six months pregnant when I was at the Vigil. The child I was carrying stirred to keep pace with the rhythm of the readings and psalms. I was carried into a tornado and through the creation narratives, moving with the chariots and springs of water to a new place, where I was comforted to be among the people with new hearts, with God as my God. The Ladies of Charity are in this place.
The Ladies of Charity are a song of salvation. We go to the tomb seeking our love, our friend, our messiah. We listen with our hearts, like Mary, when He calls our name. We encounter the risen Lord again and again in the struggling widow, in the exhausted caregiver, in the hungry mother and child, in the homeless veteran, in the young migrant seeking a new life, in the ex-offender who is denied a second chance.
We exclaim with Easter joy and hope, “He has appeared to me and I believe he is Risen!” As Easter people, we testify that we can change, our neighbor can change, and our world can change. We share that belief with all whom we encounter. May Easter peace and hope be with you and your families.
Blessings of Easter, Ladies. Mary Ann