I found the words of Fr. Matt Malone, S.J., (Editor-in-Chief) in the May 25, 2020 edition of America Magazine to be both perceptive and uplifting. We are certainly in great need of Easter joy! And he wrote these words before the death of George Floyd and all the protests that followed:
The world is an awfully tough place to call home right now. In addition to the economic and the public health crises, there is the general desolation that pervades the public discourse. Every time we turn on the television, there is one group of people, who believe the world is ending, yelling at another group of people, who believe that it is just beginning.
Both groups of people have something in common: They are joyless. There is a serious joy deficit in both the church and the world these days. Some of the most visible Christians, for example, look as if they haven’t had a joyful thought in 10 years.
That’s a big problem, for them certainly, but also because joy is what makes our witness truly credible, what changes the mode of the giver and the receiver. Joy is what makes our faith attractive, even what makes it intelligible. Without joy, to paraphrase St. Paul, we are just clanging cymbals.
To have Easter joy is to live each day in the knowledge that God broke into time and space; broke into our house while we were sleeping and sprinkled every room with a dust of eternity. Then he rose and left through the front door, which remains open for us to follow. Easter joy gives us the eyes to see those hints of eternity in the here and now — glimpses of hope, if you will.
In other words, a heart filled with Easter joy knows that the world is ending and it is also just beginning. Both are happening all around us. Easter joy gives us the faith to stand in our present, on the bedrock of the past, and face the future: a future of our choosing, yet also chosen for us.
Easter joy gives us the courage, in the words of Maya Angelou,
….to look up and out,
And into your sister’s eyes, and
Your brother’s face, your
And say simply
What words or ideas of Fr. Matt Malone touched you the most?
What Easter joy are you receiving and sharing with others today?