Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, people of God,

Today is the greatest day, the greatest of all Sundays, for us Christians, as we celebrate the Resurrection of Our Lord, Jesus Christ. It is the highest point of our Christian faith. We celebrate the uniqueness of our religion: the Cross has become the Triumph of Easter. It is a celebration of the triumph of good over evil, of light over darkness, of peace over chaos. The darkness and sadness of Good Friday have transformed into the light and joy of the Resurrection, of Easter. God's promise to raise Jesus up has become a reality beyond doubt. “They put him to death by hanging him on a tree; but God raised him up on the third day and made him manifest to us who were chosen by God as witnesses” (Acts 10:39-41).

The historical Jesus, who suffered, was crucified, died and was buried, has now been glorified. This is a celebration not of the emptiness of the tomb but of the content of that tomb; and its main content is, “we too will rise again as Jesus rose.” His resurrection is our resurrection. Through Baptism we already share in the risen life of Jesus promised by the message of Easter; we die with him and we rise with him. That means resurrection has created hope for our present and future existence. 

It is a mere reality and a fact that when we face the death of someone we love, we face an unspeakable loss. The future is mapped out for us where there will always be a large absence of the person we have lost. At times, for some people, this reality of the loss is so great that there is even denial of death itself. Certainly, the apostles and disciples of Jesus felt the same after the death of their 'Oga,' their Master. They could not put things together. Moreover, the fear of the Pharisees, the high priests and all those who were opposing Jesus and his teaching terrified the disciples and apostles. “The disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders” (Jn. 20:19). They felt useless, empty and all that they had been doing and hearing or listening for three years seemed to have gone for good.

However, looking back at Jesus himself, he endured the worst suffering imaginable from his enemies. They tried various ways to arrest his genuine growing popularity without success. In the end his persecutors decided to try the final solution to terminate him completely by accusing him as a blasphemer equalizing himself with Go(cf. Mt. 26:65). That, according to them, would silence him for good. It would also re-establish their own authority and image among the people. In fact, they chose the worst kind of death known to humankind at that time: crucifixion, a shameful death meant for criminals. His death was approved by their shouts: “Crucify him, Crucify him” (Jn. 19:6). Having watched him die, they went home convinced that it was all over. Things would make an automatic U-turn; return to normalcy.

Jesus proved them wrong! After two days, he came charging from the grave. That was the last straw for his enemies, which showed that not even death could scrap off the Jesus phenomenon. Consequently, they had no other option than to invent a lie, that his disciples came and stole his body. As it is stated in the Gospel of Matthew 28:12-13, 

After the chief priests had met with the elders and formed a plan, they gave the soldiers a large sum of money and instructed them: “You are to say, 'His disciples came by night and stole His body while we were asleep.'”

Yet their malicious, invented lie did not work out as planned. They spent their money for nothing trying to buy people to accept their lie. It is for this reason that Christianity came to its legitimate and proper genesis. It became a reality. The sorrow of passion gave way to Joy, Peace and Life. “Dying you destroyed our death, and rising you restored our life.” Truly, “If Christ has not been raised, your faith is pointless, after all been released from your sins” (1 Cor. 15:16).

Jesus' resurrection, therefore, inaugurates new creation in all of us. On our part, we are to reactivate that spirit of Easter, which is instilled in us; hence, become a people of Easter. In other words, Christianity in this sense becomes not a puzzle to be solved, but a way of life to be adopted just like the apostles' experience. Christianity becomes not a creed to be memorized, but a person to be followed to the resurrection. If this is the case, then, the evil that exists in our contemporary world and in our country has to be eliminated. We must make effort and sacrifices, which Jesus made in order to transform our lives and our world. We must make effort and sacrifices in order to transform our country for it to be a better place for us to live in. 

The forms of inflation, scarcity of essential commodities, unemployment, mass retrenchment, pensioners' suffering, the increasing armed robbery and kidnapping, herdsmen slaughtering innocent people, drug abuse, human trafficking and child labour just to mention but a few should be discarded from our midst. The so called 'religious killings' may be curtailed; hence, come to a peaceful end. (Of course, we appreciate the effort of the government for somehow curbing the Boko Haram insurgents!). As a people of Easter, a people of Resurrection, we are to fight against all forms of corruption, lies and gossips (which Pope Francis calls 'Terroristic Gossips'). 

Moreover, as a people of Easter we are challenged to come out of ourselves in order to meet others, those who are forgotten, those who are most in need of understanding, comfort and help. We need to come out of ourselves just as Jesus came out of himself for all of us. There is such a great need to bring the living presence of Jesus to others.

All this will help us to bring an optimistic spirit of resurrection for the betterment of each one of us. The optimistic spirit which is built on the solid foundation of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, and of his victory. If we mount to this juncture, with our heads held straight, we can then claim to be a people of Easter, a people of resurrection. Death will have no power of us anymore!

God bless you all!


Our Social Media