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An Easter Reflection for 2021

It has been an extraordinary year within our Benedictine communities and throughout our world. Practices and rituals turned upside-down, familiar ways of life upended. Our elders, in a particular way, have been among the most vulnerable to the COVID-19 disease.

Recently, Benedictine held a virtual Remembrance and Renewal Service in which we lifted to the loving hands of God all those from our communities who have died this past year, whether from complications of the virus or otherwise. “When one member of the body suffers, the whole body suffers with it.” These words from St. Paul capture the great love and the grief the Benedictine community has experienced.

And St. Paul continues, “When one member experiences joy, the whole body celebrates.” We celebrate our residents, tenants and family members for their tremendous resilience in the midst of so many changes. We honor their great goodness through all they have faced. And we celebrate our employees for their enduring resolve to do everything it takes to keep those in our care safe and thriving. So many have given so very much of themselves this past year in order to be true to our Benedictine mission to sustain “compassionate communities.”

This year, Easter penetrates to our hearts. The resilience, the resolve, the compassion and the goodness revealed through months of a “new normal” are signs that God is alive in us and among us. The advent of effective vaccines, the knowledge gained from intense experience and the renewed awareness that we are stronger and wiser when we lean together, all have helped us trust in God’s promise, in the words of the prophet Jeremiah: “For I, the Lord, know well the plan I have in mind for you…to give you a future with hope.”

Happy Easter to you!

James Smith, Benedictine Director of Mission Integration