“Distracted from distraction by distraction” is how T.S.Eliot described us sojourners in our now face-booked and twittered universe. In fact his words are more true today than when he wrote them in The Four Quartets. We live with the rain, drizzle and fog of media saturation, and it is not always easy to recognize gossip from news, and both from what is real and true . Indeed it is quite possible to become permanently lost in a noise filled distraction where there is never any quiet.
Easter is a tale of sacrifice, torture, abandonment and death; and thence a sacramental quantum leap to a triumph over death. Unlike Christmas there is not a lot of commercial play at this time of year, and neither bunnies nor chocolate are sufficient to take us away from the stark fundamentals of remembrance.. It is Easter which makes Christianity radically different. In a world where we worship strength and power, It is a story of a man on the cross, despised, defeated and rejected who ultimately defeats what all of us fear the most, death. If you believe, it is the most important event that ever happened or ever will. If you do not, it is all absurd and little more than mythological garbage. In fact I have met some cynics who maintain that the bones of Jesus are really hidden away in the Segretum Archivum Vaticanum. For me, Easter is a time to think about deeper and more profound realities, of transcendental themes, beginning with the stone rolled back and the empty tomb..Because I enjoy the gift of faith which accompanies my never-ending doubt, I have hope in the face of my unbelief.
I cannot end without some reference to the new occupant of the Chair of Peter. While I applaud his focus on poverty and simplicity, I choose not to ignore his position on our gay brothers and sisters, on the status and equality of women, on their right to celebrate the Christian mysteries, on the lack of respect for basic civil and human rights inside the institutional Church. If we do not stand with women, the gay community, and other marginalized people, we are really not standing with the poor.