This Palm Sunday I am drawn again to deeper contemplation about the mystery of suffering and hope. In my classes this year, we studied that being a disciple means "to accept the challenge to help those in need." Jesus' courage to stand up for people who were detested, to break religious laws to heal the sick and to boldly speak truth about the qualities that make up a righteous person is what led to his death on the cross. Like Jesus, so many of us take on and accept to endure struggles because we care. We care about the well being of our loved ones, education and equity for our students and creating a world that is better than our current reality.
COVID-19 has and will inflict inevitable pain and suffering into our lives that none of us desire. By now many of us know someone is sick or may have even died because of this virus. We may know people who have lost jobs. We know people or we ourselves have experienced isolation and feel alone. We know or we ourselves have had to alter planned celebrations or put them on hold - vacations, weddings, birthdays, graduations...etc. I see and I feel the sadness and the pain.
The truth and beauty of Jesus' life is that he was able to disrupt, alleviate and heal the pain and suffering of others by entering into people's lives and being in solidarity with them. This is where I find hope. This is the mystery and irony that I have come to believe - to cure suffering we must be comfortable with embracing suffering with people when we are capable.
Perhaps Easter Sunday is not the celebration of the end of death and all suffering. But maybe Easter is the celebration of the courage of the disciples of Jesus to step out of their fear and despair and confront the realities of the world with love, understanding, truth, joy and peace. I have already seen glimpses of Easter as I witness how all of you courageously continued to care for our students during these times.
Quang Luu, is in his first year with the school and works with the guidance department and Teaches in the Religious Studies Department. As well, he has been participating in a Clinical Pastoral Education program, which had him doing chaplaincy work in a hospital. Due to the privacy of such moments, those parts of the reflection have been omitted here.