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Easter is a joyous occasion for Christians as we end the Lenten journey and celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus. Three words in the Gospel, “He is Risen,” carry with them the living promise of rebirth and renewal.
For those of us who live in the northern hemisphere, Easter comes in spring, when flowers and plants come to life after the bleak winter, and we witness nature’s magnificent cycle of life, death, and new birth.
Easter and spring inspire us to look around and see the breathtaking evidence of “how manifold” God’s works are: from the diversity of people, plants, and animals and everything we see in nature, to the tiniest acts of love and compassion that uplift us all.
Even as we appreciate the glories of God’s creation, Easter also challenges us to move beyond our own comforts. It asks that we contemplate what Christ’s Resurrection means for our shared humanity.
It can be quite disorienting to feel joyful at Easter when we look at the state of our world today. Millions continue to die or are forced to flee as wars and conflicts remain unresolved. Scientists warn of a nuclear war as Russia’s war on Ukraine intensifies. The climate crisis is accelerating. Growing poverty and food insecurity have forced millions to move to places where they are not made welcome. People who defend the human rights of the poor and marginalized become victims of violence. Education and health care remain out of reach for many, especially in the Global South.
And yet, Easter urges us to find and offer hope especially in the midst of these troubling times. I find hope in the courage, commitment and generosity of the men and women who work for justice and peace, sometimes at great cost to them. Hope also resides in you, in us, in community, and in walking in solidarity with those who need our help the most.
This Easter, we highlight two Jesuit initiatives on education and health care that are supported by Canadian Jesuits International and which show us how manifold God’s works are and give us hope.
Medical care to marginalized people and training nurses from poor families: Jesu Ashram, provides free medical care to hundreds of destitute patients, especially those with leprosy and tuberculosis. Every year, it also subsidizes the nursing education of about 10 girls from poor families.
Education of forcibly displaced people: Loyola Secondary School is training the next generation of leaders in war-torn South Sudan. Many of its students have lived in refugee camps, some are orphans, or come from food-insecure homes.
These initiatives, along with other CJI-supported projects, bring a message of love that helps redeem our troubled world. When you support these initiatives, you help express how “manifold” God’s works truly are.
The urgent call to serve others was underscored by Pope Francis in his New Year’s Day homily this year. “So many people, in the church and in society, are waiting for the good that you and you alone can do; they are waiting for your help.”
Will you heed this call?
Will you help CJI reach its target of $70,000 to provide support for Jesu Ashram, Loyola Secondary School in South Sudan and our other Jesuit-run projects in Africa, Asia and Latin America?
Thank you for your generosity. I wish you and your loved ones a blessed Easter.
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Make a monthly gift of $20 or more before March 31 via CanadaHelps and they will make a one-time donation of $20 to CJI.