"Christ is risen, Alleluia!"
These words resound in our chuches all through Easter time. //
Some thoughts on Easter-
Fr. Sebastian Thottippatt
"Christ is risen, Alleluia!" These words resound in our chuches all through Easter time. Easter is the greatest feast of the Christian calender because Christian life hinges on this fundamental truth of our faith. It rests on the truth that the life of the Risen Lord has been passed on to every human being and indeed to the whole of creation. Christ did not rise from death only for himself but rather for the whole of humanity. In his risen life he was not resuming his bodily life as Lazarus or the son of the widow of Naim did after they were raised from death. Christ was altogether transformed through his resurrection. He could appear and disappear within moments or pass through walls. He could no longer be subject to the laws of space and time. For this reason it is truly right that the Risen Christ can become present to every human being if one steps out in faith and surrender oneself totally to his presence. This can only be possible through the power of the Holy Spirit as we see in the case of the apostles after Pentecost. This has been going on all through human history in the life of men and women who have submerged their self and given themselves over to God in their lives. We have a typical example of it in the life of Blessed Mariam Thressia of Kerala who worked for the poor and marginalized with heroic love while being continuously united with God. But it is also noteworthy that no saint ever attributed to himself any great deed he or she did but gave all credit to God who was working through him/her. This is evidence enough to know that the resurrection is an event that spans all time and space. It is up to each individual to appropriate this power for his/her life.
"We are an Easter people", said St. Augustine, "and Alleluia is our song." It does not imply that human life will be free of its physical limitations. There are prople who think Christ is the messiah who takes away all suffering from life. But we do not see him doing that in his earthly life. In his own passion he sought no freedom from pain. We too are meant to follow him in this as he said : " If you want to be my disciple, you take up your cross daily and follow me. " This follows from the fact that the resurrection is intrinsically linked with Good Friday. There would have been no resurrection if Christ had not died in his body. In view of his resurrection, the Friday on which he died came to be known as Good Friday. In like manner the pains, struggles and the many sufferings of human life take on different meaning when the power of the resurrection is realized. St. Paul prays in his letter to the Philippians: "All I want is to know Christ and to experience the power of his resurrection, to share in his sufferings and become like him in his death in the hope that I myself will be raised from death to life" (Phil 3: 10-11). The one who knows the Risen Lord can handle any form of suffering and manifest the presence of a greater power within.
We are witnessing in our day tragedies of gross proportions in human life. The terrible situation prevailing in Syria these days with bombings and massacres going on indescriminately and the plight of refugees is most alarming. We can be strongly inclined to wonder if the power of the resurrection is really present in the midst of all this pain. We have Pope Francis encouraging and exhorting Christians to believe and cling to the Risen Lord even when faced with anguish and tragedy. This is the meaning of what Jesus told Martha as Lazarus her brother lay dead: "I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me will live, even though they die and those who live and believe in me will never die. " (Jn.11:25,26).
There is an awesome power within everyone of us to love unconditionally, to forgive everything and everyone setting no limits and live our lives in ways beyond ordinary human power. It is possible only to those for whom Jesus Christ is truly alive in them. Apart from him we are confronted only with our logical thinking and at the mercy of our human weaknesses.
May Easter become more of a reality in our own lives as we face daily the contradictions within ourselves. We shall find peace and joy within as we surrender our lives more and more to the power of the Risen Lord and let him live his life through us. Wishing anyone Happy Easter should mean that with thankfulness in our heart. May His peace and joy fill our being now and always! //-