Easter Abroad: Reflections from Peru

When Simon Peter arrived after him, he went into the tomb and saw the burial cloths there, and the cloth that had covered his head, not with the burial cloths but rolled up in a separate place.” John 20:1-9

Reflection by Stephanie Sanabria, Capuchin Franciscan Volunteer Corps Midwest Alumna
In this Gospel reading we are present with Mary Magdalene and Simon Peter as they visit Jesus’ tomb and shockingly discover that He is no longer there. After witnessing a horrifically painful death of their teacher and friend only a few days before, they are left worried and confused by His disappearance. Who could have taken Him? Where could He have gone? What does all of this mean? 

This past year, I had the honor and privilege to celebrate the Lenten and Easter seasons, among many other special occasions in Lima, Peru. The forty days of Lent led me into a wonderful time of reflection, repentance and renewal, where I spent more time reading the Gospel, praying and journaling. I watched “The Passion of Christ” for the first time and sobbed for a very long time. On Good Friday, I truly mourned Jesus’ death and spent time thinking about what His suffering means in my life. Then on Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday I rejoiced, gave thanks and praise and truly celebrated His resurrection. I felt rejuvenated!

I deepened my faith in Peru within the Franciscan community, and now I truly understand why Jesus died, so that we could live. I learned that His life is a true testament of how we should live our lives today: giving, being kind, showing compassion, forgiving others, and loving without reservation. Jesus died but resurrected to new life in each of us and He ascended into heaven so that we could one day join Him. He gives us the hope we need to know that there is always joy in sorrow. 

O Holy and loving God, 

I give You thanks and praise for this day that You have 
made. Without You in my life, I don’t know where I would be.
 Thank You for giving us Your Son to be the perfect example 
of how to live, loving and forgiving all. Despite any difficulties 
that come my way, may I always continue to strive after You,
 Lord, and see the joy in the sorrow.  
In Your Holy name, I pray. 

Focus on: Simple Living

       During Lent, you may have decided to simplify your life a bit or to resist a temptation. Although the Lenten season is over, I challenge you to continue living simply by taking time to truly ask yourself (perhaps before you make a purchase): is this something I need or is this something I want?
Service Suggestion:

While in Peru, I worked at a comedor (parish soup kitchen) providing meals to families who were most in need and developing relationships with them. I encourage you to find your local soup kitchen and support them by serving, cleaning or greeting others. Most importantly truly engage and get to know your community through conversation and quality time!
This reflection is part of our Lenten Series – Download the Lenten Guide Here

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