INTER SERVOS - APRIL 2013,
"Easter glory fills the sky, Alleluya. Christ now lives no more to die, Alleluya."
Whatever about the "glory filling the sky" at the end of Easter day, I was left with a certain inner glow. The long haul of Lent with its various activities was over for another year. We survived somewhat exhausted (it becomes more of an endurance contest each year), but we had the consolation of sitting down to a nice pasta evening meal prepared by our maître de cuisine, Declan himself. Our bishop, Jose also graced our table and stories were told about Papa Bergoglio and a few glasses raised to him (he might have frowned on that extravagance).
Of course the glow did not come out of the blue. There were a number of sparks along the way. There were also some more sombre and grim moments. Like the Saturday, early on in Lent, when I officiated at the funeral of a young woman who fell victim to the HIV virus. Her names, Nozipho (the gifted one) and Jabulile (the joyful one) belied her final battle with the epidemic. As I sat in the crowded tent listening to various speeches and tributes to her (and under the constant threat of being smothered under many kgs of canvas, such was the wind) I could not help but be struck by the irony of the situation. Here was a young woman, who after almost dying some years ago, rallied with the help of ARVs provided by our AIDS project, later defaulted on her treatment, and when she returned to it was too weak to survive. And this drama took place almost in the shadow of the big AIDS research unit, Africa Centre, just about 500m across the valley from where I sat. May she rest in peace.