Feeling almost resurrected

 


Life can easily feel severely constricted, perhaps even suspended, during the Covid-19 pandemic. The virus has caused more than a million deaths, left some patients experiencing harmful effects for months or years, and prompted both health and political authorities to promote (sometimes mandate) social distancing, mask wearing and significant restrictions on business, travel and other activities. Persons fatal illnesses or diseases may resent the loss of their very limited, irreplaceable time. And just when the virus’ spread appears under control, another surge of new cases emerges with an increase in fatalities and (re)imposition of restrictions on pre-pandemic normal human activities.

Consequently, some people, once fully vaccinated against Covid-19 and sufficient time having passed for the vaccine to become fully effective, almost feel resurrected. Light shines at the end of the pandemic’s nightmare tunnel. The prospect of resuming normal activities – dining with family and friends, going to work, exercising at the gym, traveling, etc. – becomes a real hope, perhaps even a realized hope. Emotions may change dramatically post-vaccination. For example, depression may lift, anxiety ease and fear diminish. Life’s possibilities expand. Healthy interpersonal relationships, in-person employment or education and broadened horizons define a new normal for many. Zoom, Skype and other electronic tools reduce burdensome commutes and deepen connections rather than function as exhausting and unrelenting means of survival.

Easter commemorates Jesus’ resurrection from the dead. Pondering a bodily resurrection, I’m unable to conceptualize an eternity of changelessness. New experiences add zest and are essential for growth. If Jesus’ resurrection were spiritual rather than bodily, his spirit continues to live in the billions who try to follow his example of unbounded love for God and neighbor. Jesus lives within his followers and within God.

When Jesus’ resurrection is understood spiritually, then post-vaccination life really can seem like a foretaste of whatever exists after death: living on in the memory of those one loved (God and others), continuing the best of what was and discovering endless new possibilities. That is a truly inspirational image of Easter and resurrection!

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