Dear Esperanza Friends,
This Easter, the message of the gospel may seem disconnected from the turmoil our country and our world is experiencing – politically, socially, economically, and otherwise. Or, Easter celebration may seem like a welcome contrast from the constant bombardment of internet and television news that is saturated with tones of alarm, contempt, arrogance, spite, and fear. More than just a nation divided, we are a nation badly fractured and fragmented. This is sometimes true within the church, just as much as within neighborhoods and even homes.
But now, more than ever, the person of Christ – and his earthly life’s purpose – matters. Mother Theresa is credited with saying, “Look at the cross and you will know what one soul means to Jesus.” We know that Christ knew every struggle we would experience. He has compassion for the Latino immigrant, the white blue-collar worker, the African American youth, the conservative and the liberal, the urban and rural, the rich and poor, for you and for me. He foresaw this phase of our existence just like every other. And he lived to die so that, by resurrecting from death, he could give us power over every struggle. He died and rose so we could be reconciled to our Creator, and to reconcile our nation’s diverse groups of people to each other; so we could be provided by our Father everything we need to rise to the challenges of our own particular time and place; and so we could draw from God everything we need to live with purpose, strength, determination and hope.
Pope John Paul II expressed our circumstances perfectly in a sermon over thirty years ago, when he said:
“We do not pretend that life is all beauty. We are aware of darkness and sin, of poverty and pain. But we know Jesus has conquered sin and passed through his own pain to the glory of the Resurrection… Do not abandon yourselves to despair. We are the Easter People and hallelujah is our song!”
At Esperanza, we live Christ’s victory and our “hallelujah song” through our service to those we are called to help. One of our current initiatives is to create and distribute “Know Your Rights” educational materials for immigrants who may be at risk of deportation. We invite you to join us as a partner and supporter in this initiative, or any other area of our work that you may feel called to join. Christ has given us hope that is stronger than the uncertainty of our times. This season, let’s take that hope and put it into action, meeting our challenges head on, with the confidence of knowing that even death has already been overcome!
Rev. Luis Cortes Jr.
Founder, President and CEO of Esperanza