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Reflections by Br Massimo - March 2024

30 March 2024

Last February 3 I visited the Goma refugee camp, a place of life and of sorrow, full of children screaming and at the same time of many hardships. The brothers and the religious sisters who are present and working in this place took us to one of the many tents where the people live in very little space. In one of these we found four women with very young children, aged from three days to one month. The space is tight, very poor, yet two of these mothers gave us their very best smile and offered us their children to hold in our arms and welcome a moment of tenderness in such a dark place. 

I truly saw Easter present in that place, I held in my arms the Easter of life stronger than death and it is this sign of hope which helped to continue to walk through the dust of that refugee camp, as well as other places marked by many hardships during the rest of the time I spent in the Congo and in other African countries.

Easter is already in our midst, it flourishes in our arms, it is present in the hardship and also in the various deaths we experience.

Easter is not the miracle that will come after, it is the newness that explodes in our life now.  In this spirit I think of our brothers living in Haiti in a context of violence and of very great insecurity.  Likewise, I also think of our brothers who in Cuba remain alongside a people who are quite tired and who seem to have no hope. 

The same goes for the brothers who share the incomprehensible drama of the war in Ukraine, as in Israel and Palestine, without forgetting Syria and Lebanon.

My thoughts go to the brothers in Sri Lanka, where over a third of the population suffers from food shortages, while struggling to get back on their feet after the war years. Our brothers are there.  I think of the challenge of reconstruction after the earthquake in Morocco, especially in Marrakesh, and there too the smile of Easter emerges among the rubble.  I cannot forget the countries of Asia which I am visiting these days as we celebrate Easter, as well as many other places in the world.

Easter is already present, Easter is here and now in our world pierced also by the suffering of creation, our common home. A new look, fruit of Easter faith, helps to recognize it.

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