Resurrection of hope

By Camillus Fernando

Easter gives us a message of love and hope. It is the season of joy. For Christians it is of special significance as it is to them, firstly, a foundation of their faith, the centre or core of their religion and finally, hope of a future resurrection.

The Resurrection of Jesus Christ is the cornerstone of the Christians’ faith. Without it we have no hope for this life nor for the life to come. That is why it is important to recognize that our belief in Christ’s resurrection is not based on a feeling or unfounded rumour but on historical fact with solid evidence to support it.

The apostle of the Resurrection, St. Paul wrote, “If Christ did not rise from the dead, our faith/ preaching would have been in vain.” Jesus would have been only a historical figure as other religious teachers. The suffering of Good Friday has not been forgotten, but it has been defeated and transformed.
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In his book ‘Countdown’, G.B. Hardy offers some thought-provoking questions about the Resurrection. “There are but two essential requirements: 1)Has anyone cheated death and proved it? 2) Is it available to me?” Hardy goes on to declare that only the tomb of Jesus is empty. And because Jesus conquered sin and death, we who put our faith in Him will share in His resurrection.

The symbols of Easter are signs of hope. Water for refreshing and cleansing, and light to lead us through the darkness the world is enveloped in. Easter is about a new life of love when good ultimately overcomes evil. Love is the essential concept of Easter. As we accept this it exerts a steady influence on our lives for we can bring it to bear on disappointment, grief and pain and for the resurrection from all that happens again and again in our lives.

Gerald Manley Hopkins remarks: ‘Let this Easter in us be a day spring to the dimness of us.” “The great Easter message,” says Brooke “is not that we are to live newly after death; that is not the great thing but that we are to be new here and now by the power of the resurrection,” not so much that we are to live forever as that we are to and may live nobly now because we are to live forever. Eternal life that is the promise of Christ. “He who believes in me, though he die, yet shall live.”

Christ alone leaves a kind of peace with us which the world cannot confer on us. ‘Peace’ is the salutation with which Christ greeted His disciples whenever He encountered them in the 40 days from the Resurrection to the Ascension. Jesus gives us a message, ‘Go and tell’- to spread the good news to all corners of the earth.

Jesus gives us another assurance, “I am with you even to the consummation of the world.” Easter was the culmination of a journey that led Mary from a manger, through a tomb to eternal light- the cross in the life of Jesus and the word in the life of Mary were the bridges to the Easter Joy,” wrote Sr. Cynthia Mendis.

The Paschal mystery is daily enacted in the holy sacrifice of the Mass. The door must be opened from within us as the Lord waits patiently. Each of us must open the door of our souls to the Resurrection. Welcome Jesus. We can meet him today in the Scriptures and in the Sacraments. We can meditate on His life and His mission.

He is the Chosen Son, so we need only to listen to Him. We have to experience Him and invite Him to share our life with Him, then we will not fear any form of darkness. In the words of Emeritus Archbishop Nicholas Marcus Fernando, “Resurrection is an event that man had been longing for, perhaps, but never expected to realize; an event that even today’s man, the man of science hopes in his dreams to achieve some day; that is to overcome death.”

He is all spirit and life and gives eternal life to all who open themselves to Him. Jesus invited us to be Resurrection people and experience His living Sacrament and living Word.

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