Easter Message of ‘Light and Hope’
A message of ‘Light and Hope’ for this Easter Season from Executive Director, Sr Sally Bradley RSM
Maria (our Overseas Program Manager) and I had the joy of visiting our Mercy Works projects in PNG for two weeks in February. We had not been able to visit since 2019, due to Covid.
All the challenges of life in PNG are still very real. Some are even heightened since the pandemic. Coming from a privileged lifestyle in Australia, I find these challenges very confronting! There is extreme poverty. Climate change is severe across the country and the poorest are impacted the most. The access to connectivity by either phone or internet has worsened. Examples of corruption at the government level abound. Ensuing frustration is often bubbling just below the surface. One of the consequences of the frustration and hopelessness is an escalation in violence.
We constantly heard phrases such as – “We now see the light and we want to do more.”
As I listened to these uplifting Mercy Works stories of hope and change, I was reminded of the service of light which is the powerful ceremony at the beginning of the Easter vigil. This begins in the dark as the Easter fire is lit outside. The large Easter candle is lit from this blazing fire and each person lights their own candle, passing on the light to each other. The darkness is gradually lit up. It is a moment of exuberant joy and thanksgiving.
The Leader proclaims – “Christ our Light.” We all respond – “Thanks be to God.”
As I listened to these stories in PNG, these words echoed in my own heart. So, I invite you this Easter to listen attentively for stories in your own life in which the Easter light of Christ is passed onto others. Stories of hope which lift your spirit … And in the words of Catherine McAuley, the founder of the Sisters of Mercy, I invite us all to “be shining lamps bringing light to all around us” this Easter.
Sally Bradley RSM