My message for Lent was to fast and feast. Fast on the things in our lives that are negative and feast on those things that help us to do good in the world. Now with Lent over and Easter upon us, it is time to reflect on how blessed we are and how we can help better the world for those who have no reason to believe that it will get better.
Without a doubt, I believe in the phrase “it gets better.” I believe because YOU have helped me to realize the good in all people. YOU have allowed me to work with trafficked children, families of the incarcerated, runaway teens, displaced people, and refugees. And through this work I am reminded of the millions of acres of Christ’s Vineyard that are growing strong during troubled conditions.
I do not believe that it will get better based on some exclusive, religiously-affirmed, heavenly vision of the world. Rather, I believe it will get better because I have seen first-hand the capacity for humans to survive and thrive in harsh conditions, and the generosity and compassion that people have for their fellow man who is struggling.
We are blessed to be living in the United States, where we have been afforded a gift, plentiful resources and the ability to strive, thrive, and survive. We may have inherited a good hand, but what makes us special is that we are so ready and willing to give from our bounty to help others. You have helped me to realize this, and that is why I know that even in the most dire of circumstances, it will get better.
Though I myself am blessed to be in the position I am in, I look to Christ to guide my hands and my mind towards those who are not so blessed. I know you also feel that everyday epiphany and wish to pray for those who are in need. Allow me to guide those prayers and that empathic connection towards those who are in need this Easter:
For my friend Father Linus in Kenya, where a drought and economic inflation have caused millions to go hungry. Father Linus has halted the building of a clinic to instead focus on feeding those who would otherwise starve. He needs money and prayers for food and to pay for schooling for those who have been displaced. We pray to the Lord.
For my dear friend Father John, who has been working in South Sudan where his people survived a three-year drought but are suffering through a Civil War. Millions have been driven from their homes and are in need of shelter and support. We pray to the Lord.
For these two holy men, for the millions around the world who are suffering, and for all of those who are currently struggling and wondering if and how things could improve. We pray to the Lord that it will get better. And we resolve to take action to MAKE things get better.
We can only do the best we can, but that is enough. Because when any group of people comes together to make the world a better place, they can make a difference in peoples’ lives.
Jesus gave us each other. Stand up and show that Jesus has left his tomb and is out in the world helping those who need it. We must resolve to do the same. We must leave our own man-made tombs and anything that is holding us back from heading out into the world to help those in need.
It gets better. But it gets better because we make it better.
Thank you for helping me to make a better life for so many. And thank you for everything you do in your own life, every single day, to make the world a better place.
Father Ken Deasy