Easter promises of faith, hope and love are the values that our country so deeply desires in these difficult and troubled political, economic and social times.
Our society is so divided, troubled and fractured that it is difficult to see the future given the strident rhetoric, righteous indignation and outright polarization of positions among our political parties, civic organizations and indeed within the same social groupings.
The divisions are very deep.
Even the church, usually associated with a benign interest in matters political, is not only taking sides but the hierarchy has uncharacteristically taken vocal partisan stances, thereby estranging congregations and losing the credibility and integrity associated with the clerical ministry.
Individual ministers of the church who should be the epitome of “gospel” values somehow cannot find it within themselves to reconcile with their nemesis, their brothers and sisters with whom they have differed.
At the core of all these divisions are fear, superiority, ignorance, bigotry and pride.
Pope Francis has stated many a time that the church was holy, but the devil loves to tempt its human members to be proud and judgmental, thereby sowing division.
The enemy of God and man, the devil, he said, could not do anything against the Gospel, against the humble power of prayer and the sacraments, but could do great harm to the church by tempting humanity, provoking presumption, judgment of others, closure and divisions.
More importantly, he said, God was not attracted by worldliness, in fact, he detested it but loved the world he created and loved his children just as they were where they lived, even if they were “far off.”
The answer, he said, was “unity, humility and obedience” and not the seed of superiority in which one individual or group of individuals thought themselves superior to others.
The truth of the matter is that pride is the root of insecurity. It blinds reason, logic and good nature. It is a sin that divides and refuses reconciliation.
That is why in this Easter period, we should, as a Christian nation, learn to conquer divisions by understanding our common humanity, which surpasses all other consideration. As communities of faith we must accept Christ as the light and beacon of our desires and aspirations.
We cannot afford bigotry, egotism, division and least of all violence against those we disagree with.
We must seek his healing touch and see beyond the superficial divide that separates us.
Let the season of Easter, the light of Christ’s sacrifice, death and resurrection, bring us new hope and reason to overcome what may presently appear to be daunting and insurmountable differences.