The joy of Easter
We have every reason to be most happy when we celebrate the resurrection of our Lord, Jesus Christ. Let’s hope that when we greet each other, ‘Happy Easter,’ we would really mean it and know what is behind that greeting. Let’s exhume that happy greetingfrom the tomb of our usual formalisms and clichés. Let’s get real!
With Easter, we celebrate the tremendous truth of our faith that Christ, our savior, is risen, never to die again. With his resurrection, he has conquered sin and death, and is offering us the way, the means and the power to do the same. This is the greatest news of all time. Nothing can outshine it.
Easter marks the completion of Christ’s redemptive work on us. With it, we now have the way to reach the fullness and perfection of our humanity as truly the image and likeness of God, children of his, meant to share in the divine life, because that is what God wants for us. We are now given the way to arrive at that ideal meant for us. It would be good if we can meditate more deeply on the significance of Easter and continue to draw practical resolutions to guide us in our earthly life. What a pity if Easter time would just be a feel-good moment with hardly any tangible effect on our lives, on the way we think, speak, react, behave, etc.
During this Easter season, we will be repeating many times the responsorial psalm, “This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad.” And we sing, “Alleluia, alleluia,’ in response. With these words, we are told that Christ is truly alive. He is not dead, nor is he just a character in history, a significant one, no doubt, but just a historical figure. We are not left orphans. We need to adjust our consciousness to accommodate this fundamental, tremendous reality.
We have to understand that Christ’s death was meant to conquer our sin and death. And he now invites us to die with him so we can also rise with him. This is the “happy exchange” he is offering us. He assumes all our sins without committing sin, dies to them to put our sins to nothing, then rises. We then have to understand that our resurrection in Christ would always pass through his cross. We have to make sure that we pass through his cross, not our man-made crosses, which actually can also be made into Christ’s cross as long as we refer our crosses to his. We should be ready for this.
That is why we really need to activate our faith to the full, and with it, the corresponding virtues of hope and charity. Everything else will flow from there insofar as our duty to correspond to Christ’s redemptive work on us is concerned. All the human virtues we need to develop, all the means we need to develop our spiritual life, especially the sacraments Christ instituted for us, will come to mind as a consequence.
The only thing that can nullify this good news is our freedom, that is, when we would stupidly use it to deny Christ, either openly or secretly, directly or indirectly, without repenting. And we should not take this possibility lightly, because even Peter, the head of the apostles, came close to it by denying Christ, not only once, but three times. But he repented. That is the difference between our salvation and condemnation, between our glorification and perdition.
With Easter, we can now face our life with confidence, even if we commit mistakes and fall into sin. Let’s remember that Christian life is not so much a matter of avoiding sins as following God’s loving will. This means that we pray always, we follow his commandments, we do his will which is nothing other than for us to be holy and do continuing apostolate, helping one another to go to Christ.