Bangkok just recorded its worst day of the pandemic. This third wave is swift and looks exponentially bad. Ironically, this re-emergence filtered through on Easter Sunday sending us back into an unscheduled Lent. It is again noisy inside us, a cacophony of uncertainty, anxiety, fear, and hopelessness. “What if?” Amidst the din, a small voice beckons that we are an Easter people, a people of hope.
We are again reminded about the truth of our worldly life. We have no control of the events that impact us. In moments like this, we borrow Pilate’s question, and asked ourselves, “What is truth?” We reflect on our mortality and when that is in focus, we wonder about what is important in life. As we walk our path through life, what is important for us changes with the seasons of our life. Some discover it young, others only in their final season that what is important is that we want to rise again. And that is the voice down our path.
“I am the good shepherd, says the Lord; I know my own sheep and my own know me.” (Today’s Gospel)
Our path is life meanders its way down valleys of depression and up mountains of joy. But life is always full, life always to be lived. Even the poorest amongst us have days of happiness. The path we walk in life is full of good fruits, but some are the apples from the garden of Eden. Our daily life is very noisy, with voices tempting us with fruits of immediate self-gratification straying us from the right path and creating a mist fogging our vision of this true hope. But every day that voice is recognisable from all the noise.
The noise yells at us to be successful at all costs. Noise says that happiness increases exponentially with wealth; our path can be glittered with comfort, success, and riches. But what hope will those buy us? Against the backdrop of this pandemic, those riches are suddenly less important. In reflecting our mortality, the voice of this pandemic is urging us to follow him. One day in hope, we will return to normal life and it is hoped that we apply the lessons of this pandemic as our new normal. We, every one of us, are in this life together. We are one flock.
“My dear people, we are already the children of God but what we are to be in the future has not yet been revealed; all we know is, that when it is revealed, we shall be like him because we shall see him as he really is.” (Second Reading)
As we walk down our paths through this pandemic, the definition of hope matures in us. When the first wave arrived, ‘hope’ was closing our eyes and when we re-open them the pandemic would have gone. The pandemic is still here. As Easter people, we cling on to the promise of the resurrection. This is truth, and from it our true hope is in the future that has not yet been revealed, all we know is we shall be like him. When we have this true hope in us, we can live through the cacophony of uncertainty, anxiety, fear, and hopelessness in peace, and even in joy.
We are called “Children of God”: “Think of the love that the Father has lavished on us by letting us be called God’s children; and that is what we are”. What it means is that when we are born and the path of life starts, there is a voice down that path that will lead us through our earthly life to claim the promise of our baptism, this of eternal life. We are children being led to our Father.
Life is a journey through a very noisy world where wolves attack and sheep scatter. Down the path is the constant voice of the Risen Christ. We must build and strengthen our claim on the truth and hope of life by heeding his voice. For the voice rejected by us the builders of life will prove to be the key noise.
4th Sunday of Easter