We’ve lived among a pandemic for more than one year.
I remember my disappointment last Easter at not being able to enjoy the annual rituals during Holy Week. I was depressed that I was not able to join with my faith community on Easter Sunday. Watching it online was just not the same, I lamented. How could I ever be satisfied?
Now, one year later, new habits have formed. Grabbing a mask as I walk out the door and washing my hands when I come in the house is second nature.
In meditating on this reading from the First Letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians:
I Cor 5:6b-8
“Brothers and sisters:
Do you not know that a little yeast leavens all the dough?
Clear out the old yeast,
so that you may become a fresh batch of dough,
inasmuch as you are unleavened.
For our paschal lamb, Christ, has been sacrificed.
Therefore, let us celebrate the feast,
not with the old yeast, the yeast of malice and wickedness,
but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.”
I wondered, was God clearing out my “old yeast”?
“Clear out the old yeast, so that you may become fresh.” They say “old habits die hard” but it’s amazing what you can do when motivated. Think back to this time last year. How long did it take you to acquire new habits like grabbing a mask or sanitizing your hands more often? One year of living with a pandemic, we find ourselves developing new habits, perhaps even better ones than the old. With fresh yeast, we can join together to celebrate “sincerity and truth.” Who wouldn’t want a slice of that?
This Easter season, let us discover the empty tomb and ponder the mystery of the Resurrection. Let us “clear out the old yeast” in our hearts to be strengthened in our faith so as to develop new habits. Habits like Jesus had: feeding the hungry, caring for the sick and dying, clothing the naked, visiting the imprisoned, welcoming the stranger, and loving the ‘unlovable.’
How, you may ask? With a little fresh yeast. Welcome those who may think differently than you…they are the yeast. Add in the unleavened bread of other cultures and soon you have beautiful, bountiful ideas to develop and nurture new habits of justice for all.
He is risen! Let us rejoice and be glad!