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Easter message focuses on courage needed to face challenges

1356511964Human weakness tends to need to see tangible signs and wonders in order to believe. However, Jesus said to Thomas, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed” (Jn 20:29).

On the day of Easter – the resurrection of Jesus, surely we will greet each other ‘Happy Easter’. But does that greeting truly reveal our confidence that Jesus has risen from the dead and now lives among us? The disciples testify, “It is true! The Lord has risen!” (Luke 24:34). St Paul gives witness, “And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith” (1 Cor 15:14).

Yet, nowadays there are many perks in the form of money, convenience, advancement and so forth offered to the Christians with scornful sarcasm as though following Jesus is useless. But do we realize that we, as followers of Jesus, are priceless people because they are willing to present us with numerous expensive offers to get us to cross to the other side? Their expensive offers and sweet promises are in contrast with Jesus’ own promises.

Jesus never promised that it would be easy when we follow Him. In contrary, Jesus said, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me” (Luke 9:23). But He gives us the definite assurance that He is the Way, the Truth and the Life. “No one comes to the Father except through me” (Jn 14:6).

We need courage and wisdom to face the ‘goliath of temptations and challenges’. We will obtain courage and wisdom only when we practise perseverance and consistency in forging an intimate union with Jesus. He lives closely with us (Matt 28:20). In our relationship with Jesus, it is not enough to rest on the fact that we are baptized Christians. As St Paul advised, after receiving Christ we need to make effort to “live your life in Him, rooted and built up in Him” (Col 2:6-7). We need to ask for the infilling of His Holy Spirit so that wherever we are and at any one time, we would not be mesmerized by worldly offers to the point that we are willing to deny Jesus. We would definitely face the consequences at the end of the world (Matt 10:32-33).

Our confidence of the resurrection of Jesus and of His living Presence in our life encourages us to unite with Him through prayers, the Word of God, sacraments and communal living. It assures us that our sacrifices for Jesus and for others are not in vain, and that His sacrifice on the Cross is not in vain but gives life.  Our confidence and trust of the resurrected Christ is therefore a guarantee of our salvation, “that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (Jn 3:16).

In conclusion, our lives lived in confidence of the resurrection of Jesus will enable us to live with our heads held high knowing our Identity (Jn 13:35), our Mission (Matt 5:13-16) and our Destination (Jn 14:3, Phil 3:20) as followers of Christ.

Happy Easter!

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