We shall overcome!

We shall overcome!

EASTER is a mystery. In spite of all the predictions of Jesus that he will rise again, all his closest disciples were disheartened by his death and disbelieved the news that he was risen. Even the women who first saw him could not believe. And the apostles himself could not believe him as truly risen even when he was with them, showing them his hands and his side and eating with them. Up to the moment of the ascension the apostles were still doubting, according to Matthew (28:17). Why? Because the resurrection is out of this world. Yes, it happened in history but it is first of all an event of faith. It is too wonderful to behold!

One needs to have faith to a have grasp of what the resurrection is, and faith is a gift of the Holy Spirit. More than what we do to get it, it is primarily a gift of God to us. Faith is grace. This is why it is a mystery. However, when the apostles were armed with this grace of faith they were transformed to be men of courage and wisdom. They spoke boldly testifying even among the Jewish leaders. The leaders were at a loss. We are told in the Acts of the Apostles: “The members of the Council were amazed to see how bold Peter and John were and to learn that they were ordinary men without education.” (4:13)

Belief in the resurrection enables us to break through the chains of human possibilities. It says that death cannot contain life. Life triumphs over death, truth over sin, peace over violence, light over darkness, truth over lies.

It is the belief in the resurrection that enables us to speak out the truth in spite of the trolls that spin out false news and are engaged in cyber bullying. We continue to resist the moves to entrench those in power in spite of the machinery and the resources of the government on their side. We denounce the cowardice and lack of principles of our politicians even if they have the super majority. We cry for accountability even if the Lower House of Congress is being muted, and the Chief Justice and the ombudsman are being harassed, and all kinds of manipulations of the laws are being made to give a veneer of legality to the tools of harassment, like the quo warranto. We do these and we never stop because of our faith in the resurrection.

The power of the resurrection did not only work in Jesus. It is also working in us. St. Paul wrote: “I ask that your minds may be opened to see his light so that you will know …how very great is his power at work in us who believe. This power working in us is the same as the mighty strength which he used when he raised Christ from death…” (Ephesians 1:18-19) With our faith in the resurrection then we say with firm conviction: “We shall overcome.” So we never stop fighting what is false and the power grab that is being staged in our country these days. The resurrection bids us to speak out!