The Lord is My Chef Easter Vigil Recipe, 11 April 2020
A blessed happy Easter to you my dear reader!
What have you been praying for since the start of this Holy Week amid the threat of COVID-19? Aside from being spared by this dreaded corona virus, what have you been praying for?
For almost a month, I have always been praying to God for one special thing: that we may all go back to our “normal lives” soon.
Since the first Sunday of our lockdown last March 22 that happened to be my 55th birthday, until after the Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday, I have been going around our parish with the Blessed Sacrament and Santo Entierro on Good Friday mounted on a truck to bless the people.
And every time I would go around – with strict orders on the people to observe social distancing – I have strongly felt how they were so hungry and thirsty for Jesus, kneeling along the highway, some with lighted candles while others have their little altar in front of their homes.
Except for some few people, almost everyone would make the sign of the Cross, take a bow or raise their hands, asking for blessings, praying silently in their hearts.
I really wonder what they were praying for.
Next to the request that we may all be spared of the corona virus in our parish, I always prayed silently to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament and in his Santo Entierro, to please, “bring us back to our previous normal lives Lord… I am will to sacrifice everything, to bear all these pains and hardships… just bring us back to our previous normal lives… magbalik lang kami sa dating normal naming buhay, Lord, lahat titiisin ko po.”
Easter is moving forward to new life, never a going back
But early this Holy Saturday morning as I prayed, I realized God is not going to answer that special prayer of mine.
God will never bring back our previous normal lives before this time of the corona virus when we take control of everything because Easter is leaving the past behind, the old misconceptions, the old sins, the old ways of life far from God.
Easter is moving forward to Jesus, with Jesus, in Jesus.
Then the angel said to the women in reply, “Do not be afraid! I know that you are seeking Jesus the crucified. He is not here, for he has been raised just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples, ‘He has been raised from the dead, and he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him.”Matthew 28:5-7
After this time of the corona virus in the year 2020, we shall never go back to our previous normal lives because Easter is a call to renewal, to going back to God, to going back to love and kindness.
Easter is going back to God, centering our lives anew in him because he is our life!
Jesus is inviting us on this Easter 2020 in the time of COVID-19 to come to him in his new life, to leave the previous normal lives when we spend Sundays on our own, when we just pray and celebrate Mass on special occasions or when we have problems or when going through calamities and disasters.
Jesus is inviting us on this Easter 2020 in the time of corona virus to come to him in his new life to renew our ties with our family and friends, to forgive and bridge gaps among us because life is too short, so fragile.
Jesus is inviting us on this Easter 2020 in the time of COVI9D-19 to come to him in his mercy and justice, to leave our previous lives when we take people for granted, especially those in the health sector like nurses or ordinary folks we call like janitors and garbage collectors.
Easter is rediscovering anew the more essential in lives like the value of each person, the value of health and education, the value of wisdom and sound judgement and decisions.
Jesus is demanding us on this Easter 2020 in the time of the corona virus to never go back to our “normal lives” of before when it was normal to be corrupt, to use foul language, to lie and malign others, to kill and disregard human life, to use violence and force.
Never again must we be silent when people and nature are taken for granted.
Jesus is inviting us on this Easter 2020 in the midst of COVID-19 to never go back to our old politics of trapos and vote buying, to rediscover how blessed is our country with great, talented people equally blessed with a country rich in natural resources ravaged by greedy politicians.
Jesus is inviting us on this Easter 2020 in the time of the corona virus to come to him in his new life by working for justice and truth, speaking against violence and disregard for lives, fighting corruption, rejecting the normal things of life of deception and lies in government, in the church, in school, and in our own families.
If you have listened to our readings, from the story of the creation to the time of Abraham and Moses and then Jesus, people were blessed materially and spiritually because they never went back to old ways of lives but always moved forward in God, in selfless giving of self in service to others.
Without any doubt, Holy Week 2020 is the most unforgettable – even unbelievable we have ever had in our lifetime or even in recent history. And with the extension of the ECQ until the end of April, that makes our Holy Week 2020 as the longest one too!
But, it is not that bad at all.
Holy Week is “Mahal na Araw” in Filipino: mahal means valuable that is why it is the same word we use for expensive. Most of all, mahal is the root of pagmamahal or love because to love is to value another person.
Extended lockdown, extended Holy Week means longer “Mahal na Araw” — that is, more time to love God, others, and self.
So, it is still a blessed Easter to everyone!