He is risen! He is risen indeed! Happy Easter! 

I know that it has not felt very much like Easter. Many of you probably watched Easter Mass on TV. You probably had a smaller Easter dinner with less people. In some places, the bunny is considered “non-essential.” If you are anything like me, you probably really missed the Eucharist. I have seen many posts on social media about what people are going to do since Easter is cancelled. We all know though that Easter is never cancelled! No matter the circumstance, the weather, our health, the truth is that Christ is Risen!

This year more than any other I think we are really connected to the first Easter. There were no family dinners, no egg hunts, no fancy dresses for Mass, no baskets filled with candy. There was confusion and despair. Jesus had died and they did not know what to do with themselves. Everything was different and they were saddened and lost in their new situations. Sound familiar? Just like the first disciples, our lives have been suddenly and radically changed. But also like the disciples, we have not been abandoned.

Recently I have been listening to Tauren Wells’ new album on repeat. It is upbeat and positive and exactly what I need in this time of uncertainty. He has a song called “Close,” but prior to the song he has a prologue for a pastor. He speaks about how when God called Elijah out of the cave in a whisper. In First Kings, we read that Elijah heard a great wind, felt a large earthquake, and then saw a fire but none of them were God. After all this, there was a gentle whisper and the voice of God spoke to him (1 Kings 19:10-13). The pastor, as he recalls this, asks the question of God, “Why did you whisper to Elijah?” The response was, “I whisper because I am close.”

This is still true this Easter season. God does not need to shout. He does not need a microphone. He would need those if He were not with us but rather He can whisper to us because He is right by our sides. We hear His whisper in the health care workers who selflessly risk their lives to love and care for their patients. We hear His whisper in the first responders who add one more danger to their already-dangerous vocation. We hear His whisper in our priests who have to look for new and creative ways to bring us Christ! We hear His whisper in the grocery workers who show up every day so we can make sure we do not go without. We feel His whisper on our ear when a friend reaches out to check in on us. We feel His hand on our backs when teachers reach out to their students and parents become homeschool teachers. And we hear His whisper in the hello from our neighbors and strangers that we may encounter as we take this time to go for walks or sit in the yard.

Tauren Wells continues in the song to sing:

“You move in the stillness;
You move in the stillness.
The distance
Now I can feel it
Now I can feel You
Your voice isn’t hidden
Your voice isn’t hidden
I just got to listen, listen
I hear You whisper
’cause You’re close, close, close.”

As we continue this Easter season, in a world where everything is different, we must stay focused on the one thing that has not changed. Our Lord is Risen and in His Resurrection, we find our hope!

I pray that you all stay healthy and have a happy and blessed Easter season!

Anchor columnist Amanda Tarantelli has been a campus minister at Bishop Stang High School in North Dartmouth since 2005. She is married, a die-hard sports fan, and resides in Cranston, R.I. She can be reached at atarantelli@bishopstang.org.