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Archive for March 31st, 2013

easterEaster has always been different. Growing up, we always looked forward to festivities. Accidentally, they often coincided with our holidays. As children, we were enamoured by the celebratory mood that hung in the air, the new clothes and shoes our parents purchased for us, the exchange of cards, the twinkling lights, the knock-out and of course, the special rice and larger chunks of meat we would eat around that period.

Even as a child, I had noticed that unlike Christmas, there was something different about Easters. My Parish then was of a kind where during lent there was absolutely no music at Mass, hardly even the clapping of hands. I remember observing the solemness of the hymns, the dull colours of the sanctuary, the many festivities viz Stations of the Cross, palm Sunday and Holy week, the general sad demeanour of everyone like something very bad has happened and the dramatic change witnessed at Easter Sunday when everything suddenly comes back alive.

As I grew older and began to better appreciate the teachings of the church and the reasons for the solemness at this season, Easter began to evoke a very special feeling. Perhaps less of a feeling of ‘difference’ as I had imagined as a child, but a lot more special, a deeper and much more spiritually enriching festival and season. I am sure most of us share this similar experience.

Easter is the very essence of our existence, the very source of our Christian faith. In exhibition of His infinite love for humanity, God sent us His son to cleanse us and reconcile us to Himself and He did this in no less a symbolic way than to have been betrayed, tortured, crucified and nailed to a cross, like a common criminal. On that cross, He declared that “It is finished”, signifying that we all have been discharged and acquitted and by rising on the third day, our hope for a new life in Him is sealed.

Sadly though, we all, children of this modern age seem to have lost the deep spiritual significance of this special season. Christians today seem to have become too complacent, too distant from the faith that this wonderful story of resurrection now seems like a myth, like some meaningless fairy tale retold yearly simply for entertainment. Religion has in like manner become commercialised and politicized that we have lost the very essence of why Christ came and died on the cross which is Love.

The beauty of Easter is not only that it reveals to us God’s majesty and power exemplified in the resurrection of His Son, but also that it reminds us each time we bow our heads before the crucifix that in the brokenness of Jesus on the cross, the love of God is revealed so profoundly for each of us and we are called to spread that love to all of humanity.

Our holy father Pope Francis is leading the way in this call for renewal. With his adoption of the name Francis and in all of his public utterances, he has been reminding us of the essence of love and the need to embrace the poor among us which is the kind of evangelism the world needs today.

Every time we bring hope into a situation, every time we bring joy that shatters despair, every time we forgive others and give them back dignity and the possibility of a future, every time we listen to others and affirm them and their life, every time we speak the truth in public and boldly confront injustice, every time we think not of ourselves but of the needs of others, we bring people back from the dead as Jesus was at Easter.

This year’s Easter which coincides with this very remarkable time in the history of the Church, presents us another opportunity to realign ourselves to the cross, to the fundamental teachings of the church and appreciate once again, the beauty as of when we were children, of Easter and the season we have just entered. Happy Easter Good people!

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