Apr 22, 2019 | Atlanta, GA
I am not a spiritual man. I am not a religious man. I try hard to be a good man, undoubtedly influenced by my Catholic upbringing and education. It is in that context that I find it particularly horrific to wake up to the news of a terrorist attack on Christian churches in Sri Lanka. How could anyone be so evil? All religions are fundamentally founded on the principle of respect for human life. This type of horror is unacceptable. To inflict this type of pain on a day of celebration — a day when families get together out of religious fervor or simply because it is a good excuse to rejoice in life and family — something we should do every day but find ourselves too busy to do.
In the Christian tradition, Easter is the culmination of Holy Week, and it celebrates the resurrection of Christ. But it is really a celebration of spring, the hope of life and the bounty of Earth. The symbolism of eggs and the rabbits is clear — we seek renewal, and a new and fertile future. This is very much consistent with the message of the resurrection but broader and applicable to all, irrespective of religious beliefs.
There were no eggs and bunnies when I was a child in Puerto Rico, but there were plenty in my own family. Easter was just fun and my kids loved it. For us, it was about getting together with friends and family. It was about dressing up. It was about decorating and hiding eggs. And, it was about seeing the future in the laughter and giggles of children as they found their eggs and candy. That is what Easter should be about – no matter what your religion, grievances, or whatever political positions you might hold.
Luckily, that celebration of life in the coming of spring still continues. Although I write from an airplane on my way to China – shame on me – I had my little pleasure seeing the elaborate surprise that my son and his girlfriend built and prepared for the child of a friend who loves dinosaurs (see picture). They clearly love and celebrate this child and his future. That is what Easter is about, not the unjustified, unpardonable massacre of hundreds of innocents who simply were hoping for a new spring.
- Rafael L. Bras