This is a day of great religious significance for the Christian community. There is no reason to comment upon its importance in this space; the ministers will perform that task much better.
However, in a nation where there is a continued social, economic and political unease that lingers and seems to vanish not, there is value in considering how the message of Easter can be carried over into the secular realm.
Easter is about hope. It is about believing, on faith, what might seem impossible. It is about knowing that a dawn follows that time which always seems the darkest.
That is not to say our political and secular leaders should be taken on faith, or that they can accomplish the impossible. It is not even to predict that the nation has passed through its darkest times of confusion and approaches a dawn and rebirth.
Rather, it is about hope, about not giving up, about struggling onward in the belief — nay, knowledge — that skies will ultimately brighten.
That is not a hope based upon our leadership elements, who sometimes appear to be the most confused among us. Nor is it based on our religious convictions, which deal more with the hereafter than the present. It is about having hope and faith in ourselves — the American people.
Have we lost our values and our way, as so many seem to claim? No, we have not else we would not so loudly, in the public prints and elsewhere, be debating both values and our democratic ideals.
Have we lost our ability to solve our problems? No, else we would not so constantly be examining and pursuing solutions.
Have we really fallen into the pits from which we cannot ascend, with the flames of uncertainty and violence about the consume us all? No, for we all know, from our daily contacts, that both the good in the people and the good people still overwhelmingly outnumber the bad.
To some extent, our state of confusion has been induced in us by the same elements that caused Saint Thomas, the apostle, to doubt what his eyes showed him after the Resurrection. There is nothing wrong with being “doubting Thomases” who must touch reality; indeed in the secular realm that may be even more important than in the religious.
The point, simply, is that by looking around for the positive elements in our lives and neighborhoods we may have less doubt about the eventual outcome of our nation’s condition.
America is still far more filled with good things than with bad. Not the least of these is the deep and growing concern of its citizens in preserving and protecting what they value.
There is a thought that those who believe in Easter and those who believe in America share: Those who seal the tomb too quickly are in for a surprise.
This editorial first appeared in Rome News-Tribune on Easter Sunday of 1994 and is repeated today because the message not only bears repeating but appears unchanged. Not a single word from the original has been altered or updated.