Easter Greetings

‘Jesus Christ is Risen Today, Alleluia!’

An Easter Reflection by Jennifer Henry, Executive Director, KAIROS

Two years ago, I had the privilege of visiting the Garden of Gethsemane. It was an important moment for me as that part of the Passion story has always touched me deeply. In his sadness, maybe even fear, Jesus, so understandably, seeks the accompaniment and solidarity of his friends. And his friends fail the test – they fall asleep. I am always rocked to the core with Jesus’ poignant question: “Will no one stay awake with me?”

Theologian and activist Ched Myers says in his book Who Will Roll Away the Stone, “We are called to stay awake with Jesus in a world become Gethsemane.” I share his sense that this is a resonant story for First World Christians. We strive to stay awake to the suffering and injustice of the world, of our global neighbours. We are called to solidarity with Christ in the poor, in those pushed to the margins, the victims of violence and greed. But our privileges can make us sleepy. It is too hard to keep opening my eyes to injustice; it is inconvenient to answer the call to solidarity. Like the disciples, we can fail the test.

Yet our desire to be faithful to the call to “stay awake with Jesus in a world become Gethsemane” is evident in so many ways. In these recent weeks, some 200 of you took the time to write a letter protesting death threats against the women of the Popular Feminist Organization in Colombia and urging action on their behalf. We know these letters – this international support – saves lives.

Others of you helped host and welcome two Salvadoran women in their visit to Canada to speak of the impact of a Canadian mining company on their community. Some of you are preparing for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission National Event in Montreal – preparing to listen with your whole heart to those who in tremendous courage will tell their stories.

These (and so many more) are acts of justice in churches and communities across the country. For everything you do in accompaniment and solidarity – actions, donations, prayers – we are so grateful. For the way you help keep each other awake, we give thanks. We see a faithful movement here and, in very real ways, it is growing.

On Easter Sunday, the children in my church will set free the “alleluias” from the little box we store them in through Lent. We will raise our voices to proclaim: “Jesus Christ is risen today, Alleluia!” And we will put our faith in the One who accompanies us always, even when we fail the test.

From all of us at KAIROS, thank you for your support, thank you for your solidarity.

Happy Easter!

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