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A Humpty Dumpty Easter—2020
Sr. Ruth Droege, OP, PhD
For me, this Holy Week, April 2020, feels like a Humpty Dumpty Easter. 1.1 million cases of COVID-19 worldwide, 60,000 deaths, and counting. Social isolation almost universally enforced.
“Humpty Dumpty sat on the wall. Humpty Dumpty had a great fall. All the kings’ horses and all the kings’ men couldn’t put Humpty Dumpty together again.”
Our lives, our hopes, our plans, our future have been called into question, fallen, it seems, off the wall. In some way we are like those disciples along the road to Emmaus. They, too, were filled with anxiety and fear. They had not yet come to believe in the Risen Christ. They were hoping that he was the one promised who would free Israel from Roman Domination.
“Our chief priests delivered him up to death and crucified him. We were hoping that he was the one who would set Israel free.”
For these disciples and for believing Christians throughout time, fear and anxiety changes to peace when in the course of their journey, on the road of life, they recognize Christ in the breaking of the bread, in the partaking of a meal.
Hope and faith in the Risen Christ accomplish what “all the kings’ horses and all the kings’ men” could not—put Humpty Dumpty, the cosmic egg of vision, meaning and purpose, back together.
Teilhard de Chardin died on Easter Sunday, 1955. Because of his love and belief in the Incarnation, passion death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, he understood that the whole of the cosmos and all in it would participate in the Resurrection. He had a scientist’s faith in life, that evolutionary development of life was directed, was always looking ahead, always having a hunger for wholeness. This natural faith is fulfilled in history by the Incarnation.
All creation participates in the sharing of life, of air, of food. As the Exultet joyfully announces, all creation will be reborn in Christ. Believers and nonbelievers both must freely give their allegiance to Christ. Believers will do this through their profession of faith as Christians. Nonbelievers will do this by their commitment to work for the good of humanity, by their love of the good and their desire for truth.
This Easter Morning, April 12, 2020, as the sun rises in the East, let us all in an act of praise and gratitude to God through Christ offer the work that we do to make this whole world a better place and the pain we undergo in accomplishing it. It is in community and love that our lives will be pieced back together in this time of COVID-19.
A Note from Sr. Ruth: “I was inspired by feeling the joy and peace of what Christ means in this time of upset and wanting and wrote this reflection to somehow let those who do not explicitly profess Christ that they, too, can share the Good News. Inspired by the teachings of Teilhard and Rahner, I hope it brings peace to others.”