Notice During the Covid-19 Outbreak
In solidarity, we at the Interfaith Peace Project stand together in these times of heart break and upset. Some of you may have lost friends or family members. Some of you may have lost your job and your income; some may be working overtime to help with the crisis. Some of you may be home and alone and some may be trying to figure out a new way to live. Please let us know how we can help. If you would like a phone appointment with any of us, give us a call. You may call or email Tom at:
April 4, 2021
No Longer Here
An Easter Reflection
From the Christian Traditions
by Thomas P. Bonacci, C.P.
© zwiebackesser stock.adobe.com
All across the land, there are thousands of people looking across a table where their loved ones once sat saying, “He is not here.” Tonight, a man is thinking about his wife, who sat next to him every night as they laughed and shared the happenings of the day. He is thinking to himself, “She is not here.” Children are wondering where Grandpa is since he is not with them playing and being silly. Grandpa is “not here.” They were all struck down as the Covid-19 virus ravaged the land and scorched the Earth. So many are no longer here. Our hearts are forever broken.
Governmental and elected officials who should have known better seemed impervious to the sorrow of so many who felt the absence of their loved ones and their friends who died. Over and over again, the sad mantra rings, “She is not here.” The sad widow holding her baby whose father died alone in a Covid ward laments, “He is not here.”
Workers who prepared our food in so many factories fell to the horror of the pandemic. They ranked among the nameless, the throwaways, and yet their work was deemed essential. They, too, “are not here.” All over the land, the terrible antiphon is heard in so many and varied ways, “He is not here.” We pledge never to forget them as we work hard to make sure this never happens again.
Even now, some desire to crowd in bars and gather in restaurants as if nothing has happened. Some feel inconvenienced, insensitive to those who are broken-hearted because someone they cherished is no longer here. We can never go back to normal for more and more of our family and friends are no longer here.
All across the Earth, the sad and terrifying lament can be heard, “They are not here.” All too many graves are filled as our hearts feel empty. Finally, we hope we are beginning to realize how much we need one another before all of us are no longer here. A friend in a far-off land calls to inform us their child is no longer here. Suddenly, no one is a stranger anymore.
We are now praying and hoping and longing for the day when the heart-rending words are no longer heard. It is hard to hear again, “she is not here.” We hope she will be back soon as if coming home from running an errand. She will walk through the door any moment now. Our hope is shattered because we know “she is no longer here.”
On Easter Sunday, so the Gospels tell us, an angel said to the courageous women who journeyed to his tomb, “He is not here!” They were puzzled, confused, alarmed, and amazed. He was raised as we hope those who have died are rising to new life in ways we cannot as yet understand or appreciate. We hope those who are not here are singing with the Ancestors, dancing with the Angels, journeying through the mystery of Cosmos, or simply at peace, for they are no longer here.
As long as we are here, we will rise up in their name to honor them as we seek what is true, right, and just. We will rise up to end the culture of death as we cherish each and every person we meet. We will rise up in their memory, seeking to create a World they were denied. Never again will we allow expediency or selfish disregard to interfere with our God-given responsibility to be people of compassion, empathy, and love.
We pledge, Holy Community, never to forget those no longer here. Thank you for remembering those who have gone before us. Thank you for rising.