Tonight, in the strangest of circumstances, the universal Church keeps vigil in anticipation and celebration of the Resurrection of her Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. At a time when the world seems cloaked in darkness, when every-day life is curtailed, tonight we commemorate the greatest hope there ever was, or could ever be. Our celebrations have a familiarity marked by the usual symbols of our liturgical faith. Yet at the same time they are characterized this year by something unfamiliar, even frightening. I want to reflect briefly on both.
Joseph, Son of David, do not be afraid!
It is tempting to think that in these peculiar times, somehow the mission and work of the Church is put on hold; that we are unable to go about our daily business. Many of us rightly feel sad that our churches are closed, and that the usual round of divine worship and pastoral activity has been forced to grind to an uncomfortable halt. Some may even feel resentment toward those who have made these decisions, whether priests and bishops, or politicians and those in civil authority. Tonight Saint Joseph comes into our midst to offer a different narrative.