Seventh Sunday of confinement: new calendar that is already becoming habitual. One more week, like all the previous ones? No, each one has its nuances; each day is new even though it is apparently a repetition of the previous one. Every day has its rhythm, its tasks, its chores, its encounters, its faces seen through the screen: WhatsApp, Skype, video call, Zoom, Meet ... We are specializing in the technologies required by circumstances.

And how we appreciate having them because somehow they keep us in relationship despite the distance and we look forward to the time of a meeting, an interview, a time of prayer, a shared work, the Eucharist and there, in those virtual scenarios that we They allow us to see faces, hear voices and familiar accents, we meet again and this long-term confinement is softened to some extent.

The time of Easter elapses as spring progresses in this area of ​​the world that allows us to listen to birds in the great silence that surrounds us and that we had forgotten. And the sun floods us and invites us to go for a walk but we are still at home.

And we dream longing for the daily things that we took for granted to return and we were not grateful because they were "routine" and now that we lack how much we need them: effusive greetings, kisses and hugs, coffee or beer encounters, talks of the divine and of what human, family parties ... And yet, there is now a lot of creativity because we continue to be social beings: dialogues of balconies and screens, closeness to a neighborhood that perhaps we do not know; We meet every evening in the recognition that we make of so many people who give themselves to save lives at the risk of their own; the many that serve a society now paralyzed in a thousand ways because life continues and they sustain it in an incredible gear that we also took for granted.

Every day the Easter message of the gospel reminds us that Life is imposed on death, but we continue to suffer so many losses, so many duels difficult to close due to the impossibility of farewells; there is a growing work of priests and deacons who come to cemeteries for a final prayer and a little comforting relief to families; the Church, at all levels, parish, diocesan, national, universal, is taking care of these situations; Many volunteers in multiple organizations offer their help, material and spiritual; Food is beginning to be lacking, the living conditions of many people, even before the pandemic, were not on a human level; now they are decidedly subhuman because they lack the most essential to take care of themselves and others: water, hygiene, home ...

And there is a concern in the educational environment; The great effort of teachers and students is compounded by a great uncertainty - yet more - of not knowing what the future will be, which is already immediate but for which there is no answer but multiple and varied.

But by wrapping this whole situation we do not want to forget the messages of the Word in this Easter time that we are going through: paradoxes challenges, challenges like those that we face every day: women go to the grave and find it empty, they become full of joy and also of fear, they are the announcers of the Good News, those who proclaim that the Lord lives ...

And on this Sunday the Emmaus disciples also remind us of situations that we live on many occasions: disappointment, hopelessness, vital discouragement because "we expected, but 3 days have passed" ... We can also say: many weeks of confinement have passed We expected this to be shorter, but we have been here for many days and we are still at home.

And when we are about to succumb to discouragement, some message -for unexpected paths, surely- touches us and we exclaim: "we feel our hearts burn, we regain strength to continue" and we observe signs of broken and distributed bread that reaches us and calms us and allows us continue with joy; and we look around us and find people to communicate a word, a gesture of closeness that spreads hope.

It gets dark. The path is arduous. Strong tiredness. Stay, Lord, by our side; stoke the embers of our hearts, dispel doubts and release our fears.

María Luisa Berzosa, fi