Walking through a world where so many places have been closed, shuttered, locked up and boarded up, I was struck by this simple message taped to a steel door outside a Chinese restaurant in Queens.

Here, I thought, is someone seeing beyond our present troubles, to a moment when what was closed will be opened. Here is affirmation, possibility, sure faith in the future.

Here is hope.

In his homily at the Easter Vigil Saturday, Pope Francis said:

The message of hope should not be confined to our sacred places, but should be brought to everyone. For everyone is in need of reassurance, and if we, who have touched “the Word of life” (1 Jn 1:1) do not give it, who will? How beautiful it is to be Christians who offer consolation, who bear the burdens of others and who offer encouragement: messengers of life in a time of death! In every Galilee, in every area of the human family to which we all belong and which is part of us – for we are all brothers and sisters – may we bring the song of life!

Hope has a way of announcing itself in unexpected ways, in unexpected places. Thank you, God, for this gift, and the quiet reminder that we are called to be “messengers of life,” heralds of hope.