a ‘contagion’ of hope

The proclamation of hope, new life and victory over death, he said, should be “a different ‘contagion,’ a message transmitted from heart to heart, for every human heart awaits this good news,” he said.

“This is no magic formula that makes problems vanish,” the pope said. “No, the resurrection of Christ is not that. Instead, it is the victory of love over the root of evil, a victory that does not bypass suffering and death, but passes through them, opening a path in the abyss, transforming evil into good: this is the unique hallmark of the power of God.”

Pope calls for a ‘contagion’ of Easter hope, peace, care for the poor. National Catholic Reporter

We don’t want to hear about contagion during a time of pandemic. The word evokes images of infected particles flying through the air, seeking to make their home in an otherwise healthy host. We are bombarded with figures and graphs showing how one case of COVID-19 turns to two. To ten. To one hundred. To thousands…

We understand what contagion is. Contagion has shuttered our world, spreading fear and uncertainty. Contagion brings death. Suddenly and unexpectedly.

And yet….

Joy can also be contagious. Laughter infectious.

And, faith can be spread by ‘contagion’. Not by force or threat. Not by grandiose gestures of religiosity. Certainly not by self-righteous proclamations of holiness. For me, a ‘contagious faith” is life-giving and full of energy. It leaves you nourished and strengthened for the journey. It makes you want to “have what they’re having” and, in turn, share it with others.

It’s not an idyllic, Pollyanna approach to faith filled with empty promises of fun, good times and rewards aplenty. Francis reminds us that “there is no magic formula that makes problems vanish”. But, it nudges us to cling to hope promised. Love given. In turn, we share that hope and love. The message gets passed on to one other. Then ten. Then one hundred. Then thousands…

In these dark days, small acts of love are truly contagious. One example is the spread of online movements that offer “good deeds and helpful hands.”

This is the hopeful, heartwarming side of COVID-19 — the spirit of togetherness bred among community members. 

It’s been dubbed “caremongering” -— an online movement offering good deeds and helpful hands. Whether it is getting groceries, giving a ride to medical appointments, or picking up prescriptions…

“It’s really life-saving”: From getting groceries to babysitting, ‘caremongering’ brings communities together. CBC News.

Yes, this Easter has been like no other. But, the message remains the same. Here’s another man who knows the power of inspiring others to good action, and understands what Easter is all about.

And a blessed and joyful Easter from me too!