This is Easter Sunday and the touch of spring I was looking for has really begun to appear in Washington.
This is the season when we are reminded that faith and hope are a part of our religion. And surely this year, and at this particular season, we need both as part of our everyday consciousness.
The other day, some ministers of the church asked me, and I guess asked themselves, what leadership the church could or should take in the postwar period. How should or could it be defined, where should it begin, where should it end?
It is probably not possible for anyone to answer these questions, but on this Easter Day, in hundreds of churches, people will think of the Resurrection. It was a day in the dim past when, to some people, the hopes for the present and future had seemed to die, and then suddenly came to life again, to live eternally in the hearts of men who believe in the story of Christ as a symbol of what all of us must go through and can go through and still come out triumphant.
Men on the field of battle and men and women at home are going through daily crucifixion, and only faith and hope can make their victory sure.
We don't know when an invasion of Europe will begin, but we do know that when it does begin it will be the great test, not only of our men in the field, but of us at home. What we have given our men to live for is what they will fight for. Everyone who has a man in the fighting area must carry his share of responsibility for a particular individual when crucial days come.
All of us, however, whether we have men at the front or not, must carry the responsibilities in a country in which the citizens themselves are responsible for what their country stands for. Is it a country of faith and hope? Is it a country for which every man in the field will fight with the assurance in his heart that his loved ones are daily making a better home for the future?
Easter is a soul-searching time this year, for just as the Apostles who met Christ walking on the road were somewhat frightened, so each one of us, meeting our test of Easter faith and hope, will be somewhat frightened at the responsibility it entails. God grant us all the courage and constancy of faith to see us through this period of our history.