A Time for Reflection by Gina Messina


This Easter was a challenging time for many of us. I could never have imagined that my daughter Sarah and I would end up spending the holiday at home alone — or that we would have hot dogs and tater tots for Easter dinner  (I let Sarah pick – I should have seen that coming!). Although we were physically separated from family, we connected in other ways. I am grateful for the many suggestions on opportunities to remain engaged with each other even though we are not sharing the same physical space. 

Easter is a celebration of Resurrection; it is a time of new beginnings and I can’t think of a more relevant theme for this moment. We’ve been told to stay home, to rethink the ways we live our daily lives, and to do so knowing that our individual actions have life and death consequences. We’ve found that much of what we thought we couldn’t live without is actually insignificant and that our choices do matter beyond our own purview. 

Our eyes have also been opened to the inequity in our societies. Persons of color are infected and dying at a much higher rate than caucasians. Those who have become known as essential workers are risking their own lives for the rest of us; and yet they suffer the highest rate of pay inequity and are disproportionately female. Some of us have the privilege of working from home and earning a paycheck while caring for our children when so many face uncertainty after being furloughed.

Our communal actions in response to this crisis have been awe inspiring. We’ve come to see our stories reflected in one another regardless of social or geographical location and have witnessed the power of compassion and the human spirit. Mary Daly has explained that God is a verb; that our actions reveal God’s presence in our lives. With this understanding, I know that God is present. As I see strangers come together to sing in a virtual choir, to cheer for first responders, and to selflessly choose to head to the hardest hit cities to lend a helping hand, God is with us. 

We are experiencing much grief and fear in this moment. Many of our loved ones have become ill, or passed on. We struggle with theodicy questions; why would God allow such devastation to occur? However, instead of asking why, as our eyes are being opened to the realities of our world, this is a moment that calls for deep reflection. We must look at ourselves and ask what role we are playing in the power structures that perpetuate injustice and what actions we are taking to support our communities. What are our personal missions and how are we engaging them? And, as we recognize our ability to work together while physically separated, what have we learned, how can we continue positive engagement, and what can we do differently?

This Easter, while eating hot dogs and tater tots with my daughter, we reflected, and I continue to do so. I love the song “Mercy” by the Dave Matthews Band and I think it calls us to engage in such reflection. It was the sermon I needed this Easter holiday, and I think it offers us much to consider about changes we can make to ensure the new beginning our local and global communities need.

Gina Messina, Ph.D. is an American feminist scholar, Catholic theologian, activist, and mom. She serves as Associate Professor and Department Chair of Religious Studies at Ursuline College and is co-founder of FeminismAndReligion.com. She has written for the Huffington Post and is author or editor of five books including Women Religion Revolution. Messina is a widely sought after speaker and has presented across the US at universities, organizations, conferences and on national platforms including appearances on MSNBC, Tavis Smiley, NPR and the TEDx stage. She has also spoken at the Commission on the Status of Women at the United Nations to discuss matters impacting the lives of women around the globe. Messina is active in movements to end violence against women and explores opportunities for spiritual healing. Connect with her on Twitter @GMessinaPhD, Instagram: @GinaMessinaPhD, Facebook, and her website ginamessina.com.



Categories: Activism, Community, God, Resurrection

Tags: , , , ,

6 replies

  1. Enjoyed thank you. And have shared on the divine feminine app. <3 Blessings, Karen

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  2. I’m not interested in Easter, per se, nor in the standard-brand god, but I like your reflections on our communal actions and our personal responsibility for what the world is today. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us. Bright blessings! Stay home and stay safe. And enjoy those Tater Tots.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Barbara, I so appreciate you and that you always comment. I understand where you are coming from. I don’t embrace traditional theology and generally acknowledge my struggles with having a relationship with God. Nonetheless, I believe that there is a God and that she is meant to be a mystery — but that she is not full of vengeance, and is one who loves and suffers with us. And that is how I am understanding her right now.

      Likewise, the Easter holiday for me is allow about new beginnings and reinterpreting the idea of resurrection as one that happens in the physical world.

      The tater tots were divine! :) I hope you are safe and healthy and it is always so lovely to connect with you!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m hearing similar sentiments all over. The “powers that be” may regret our having time to get off the hamster wheel and really think about it all instead of mindlessly going along, perpetuating the institutionalized abuses and exploitation. Maybe we’ll yet reach that 100th Monkey. The pandemic (I’ve begun to call her Pandemia) is changing us all and isn’t that what we desperately needed? Like the Black Plague brought about much evolution, so may Pandemia. So will Pandemia! We couldn’t think change would come easy and it won’t. And we needed it to be this big to force us to change.

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    • Hi Karen, thanks so much for your comment and I hope you are safe and healthy in the midst of this crisis. Pandemia – I kind of like that. :) I agree that COVID19 is forcing us to re-examine everything about the ways we live our lives. At the same time, there is such grief for those who have suffered, died, and lost loved ones. I can’t imagine being so ill and having no one at my bedside, or knowing some one I love is dying alone. So I think we are learning that we need to change and also be compassionate. You are right, change does not come easy. But I’d like to believe we can achieve change, even if it is baby steps, without so much devastation.

      Everyday I am so grateful that my family is healthy (at least so far) and that we have food, shelter, and health insurance. Much of what we have taken for granted really is a luxury. Sending you good wishes always and I hope you are taking good care of yourself!

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