09 Rejoice! The Lord has Risen! - Josephine Fernandes

posted Mar 29, 2018, 9:18 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Mar 29, 2018, 9:19 AM ]
We rejoice at the Halleluiahs sung at the Easter Vigil each year, there's great joy as the Gloria is sung, and as we hear the Good News about our Risen Lord and Saviour. At the same time, we also notice the empty tomb which gives us a message of great hope. The most important message of all is the message of Hope. After the darkness of death, a great light shines forth; after the silence of the dead, a voice of hope is heard. Death could not hold captive the Saviour of the world, but death was forced to break asunder and be defeated at the foot of our Saviour's Cross.

The dull, dark, gloomy Good Friday and the rejoicing at the Easter tiding teaches us many lessons of life. Though the Cross of Christ is a sign of God's unending love for us today, the Cross on Good Friday was a sign of defeat of the Saviour, the Messiah who came to save the world, but could not save himself. They mocked him and said, "He saved others; he cannot save himself. Let the Messiah, the King of Israel, come down from the cross now, so that we may see and believe." (Mk 15:31-32) They wanted to 'see and believe'; He rose from the dead, but they did not believe! Such a paradox! His own disciples refused to believe. Even though Jesus had spoken to them on several occasions that the Messiah will have to suffer at the hands of the chief priests and scribes and will be handed over to the Gentiles to be crucified, and on the third day will rise again (Lk 18:31-34), yet they refused to believe; their human minds could not comprehend the mystery of the Resurrection.

In the Gospels, Jesus has spoken about Life after death through various parables and discourses, about being with the Father for all Eternity, but our weak human minds cannot comprehend the mystery of Eternal Life. If we had truly understood the mystery of Eternal Life, we would not have lived life the way we live now as lukewarm Christians setting our heart and mind on the things of the world; when one day the Lord God will spit us out of His mouth, for we are neither hot nor cold. (Rev 3:15-16) St Paul tells us 'those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, set their minds on the things of the Spirit.' (Rom 8:5-6)

After all the penance and contrition done during the forty days of Lent, may we be able to rise above all the desires of the flesh, by trying to put away all petty matters, small arguments and fights, matters of unforgiveness, holding on to grievances, pride, etc.