Happy Easter! Christ has risen! Alleluia!

Today’s celebration reminds us that despite whatever might be happening in the world, death never has the final answer. There is always hope for new life, for transformation. As Pope Francis says in Laudato Si’, “for we know that things can change” (LS 13). 

This is an important reminder amidst the current challenges in our world. This month, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released a report indicating that the ambition of governments still falls incredibly short of keeping temperature rise to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. This will result in the escalation of intense weather events and more suffering and destruction of ecosystems and communities.

As Easter people, where do we find hope?

I am struck every Easter how God, yet again, chose an unexpected messenger to be the first bearer of the greatest news. Mary of Magdala became the “apostle to apostles” who first proclaimed that Christ had risen from the dead. Mary of Magdala was a messenger of hope. 

Who are the unexpected messengers of hope in our midst? 

I think about the thousands of individuals who will be starting their Laudato Si’ Animator training in the next few days. They have made a deep commitment to spread the news of Laudato Si’ to their communities. They are messengers of hope.

I think about the recent launch of the Laudato Si’ Movement Prayer Book, the fruits of the ecological conversion journeys of so many in our movement. This is a message of hope. 

I think about the hundreds of Chapters and Laudato Si’ Circles that gather regularly in Indonesia to South Africa to Italy, and in between, to make sustainable changes in their lives and communities. They are messengers of hope.

I think about the tens of institutions that have divested from fossil fuels, aligning their values with their investments after what can be a complex discernment process. They are messengers of hope. 

What if we imagined that Easter hope is all around us? What if we imagined that we ourselves could be that hope, the unexpected messengers of the Good News like Mary of Magdala?

May we, like her, heed the call of Jesus to tell the others, in our words and actions, of Christ’s defeat against death. As people of faith, we have a great mission to lift up hope in our world, especially where there seems to be none.

This Easter season, may we each take one bold step to embody the resurrection through action for our planet and the most vulnerable among us. Whether it’s having a tough conversation about the climate crisis, changing our eating habits, or reaching out to a government leader. May we follow in the footsteps of Mary of Magdala, running forth with good news, and shouting “Praised be! Laudato Si’! Christ is Risen! Alleluia!”