Joy is coming!

By: Father Raúl Arderí García, SJ

Padre Raúl Arderí García, SJ
Padre Raúl Arderí García, SJ

There’s a 2012 Chilean film that helps me make sense of this difficult Lent of 2021. Its title is a monosylla, No, and chronicles the advertising campaign that defeated the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet in 1988. The theme song of this campaign had a contagious refrain: “Chile, joy is coming!” Apparently there is no religious reference in this sentence, but the creativity of a people who could overcome fear because they believed that the future could be different and better. However, the expression “joy is coming!” helps me to live this Lent from the faith in the midst of a serious global health crisis and a deep economic and social crisis in our country.

Lent is above all a way of preparing for Easter, the feast of life, God’s victory over sin and death in this world. Easter is God’s definitive yes to his Son Jesus, nailed to the cross for living as he did, for not backing down and for not giving up the borderless love offered, even to those who crucified him. The cross is no coincidence in the life of Jesus, it is on the one hand the consequence of his ministry, his gestures and his words, and on the other hand the result of the sin of mankind. God, resurrecting His Son, showed us that He is in favor of life and not for death, for justice and reconciliation, not for vengeance, for forgiveness and not for hatred. For me, evil today has many faces: the endless queues where it is not known whether in the end you can reach some food or necessities, insecurity for one’s own health and that of those I want, shortages of medicines, acts of repudiation and media lynching, lack of contact with my friends or the Christian community as a protective measure against the virus… Living Lent then means trusting that none of these difficulties will have the last word and doing what little I have to do with women and men of goodwill to make this desire come true. Living Lent means singing and waiting against all hope: Cuba, joy is coming! Ω

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