Christians have always gathered together to give praise to God on Sunday, the day of the Lord’s resurrection. In this they carry out Jesus’ words at the Last Supper: “Do this in memory of me.” We know that Christ is always present when the faithful come together, and whenever we gather for Eucharist it is the whole Body of Christ that gathers, with Christ as head and us as his members.
The experience of sickness and suffering can make us feel anxious and alone. We need someone to be with us, to comfort us, to listen to us, to encourage us. This doesn’t apply only to the person enduring the pain or illness, but to those who love them and care for them who wonder, ‘What can I do? What should I do? Who can I turn to?’
The words ‘through Christ our Lord, Amen’ are familiar to us as the conclusion to many of the Church’s formal prayers.
‘A pregnant woman is not the usual image that comes to mind when one thinks of a prophet,’ writes the American theologian Elizabeth Johnson in her book Truly our Sister, yet in the first chapter of Luke’s Gospel we come face to face with two Spirit-filled pregnant prophets doing exactly what prophets do: speaking aloud God’s truth.
In an address from St Peter’s Square on Easter Monday 2019, Pope Francis named the resurrection of Christ as “the most shocking event in human history” – shocking, because it should not have been possible.