Oi tobpinai ngaavi ku id di Tuhan Otumbazaan zou do…
May the Mercy of our Risen Lord be with you! Let us share this Mercy to others in word and in action.
It is another celebration of Easter! If someone were to ask you, “Why do you believe in Jesus?” You are to answer them, “It is because He has risen from the dead.” If this person were to ask further, “How do you know that Jesus is the only True God?” You are to give them the same answer, “It is because He has risen from the dead.” The Bible has clearly written that “for all the names in the world given to men, this is the only one by which we can be saved.” (Acts 4: 12)
When we talk about Easter, it is LIFE that we are speaking of. Since the beginning of times, there is no one who has risen from the dead. Even if some would have, none has lived on to eternity after their resurrection. This is the proof that Jesus is the Son of God and the Author of Life, who is in charge of life and death. He is the one true Lord of our life.
He has risen from the dead and conquered the darkness of sin to bring us into the light of eternal life. Easter Triduum celebrates the culmination of our Christian faith, which is celebrated over three days, that is the celebration of Jesus’ PASSION, DEATH and RESURRECTION.
Unfortunately, many parishioners have put the cart before the horse. The emphasis has been placed upon Christmas celebration instead of Easter. There is no salvation if there was only the Birth of Jesus but not His PASSION and RESURRECTION. St Paul has preached that “if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is without substance, and so is your faith.” (1 Cor 15: 14) As such, there is no reason to believe in Jesus. But with His PASSION, DEATH and RESURRECTION, we have received salvation. With His RESURRECTION, we can conquer the darkness of sin and evil.
There is a huge variety of celebration around the world. Some are cultural festive celebrations, while others are of religious celebrations. Regardless of the types, we want to illustrate the significance and meaning of the celebration. Likewise, we, as Christians, want to illustrate the significance and meaning of the Easter celebration. So, what does Jesus’ RESURRECTION mean to you?
St Paul gave us a satisfactory answer, “if we died with Christ, then we shall live with Him too. We know that Christ has been raised from the dead and will never die again. Death has no power over Him anymore. For by dying, He is dead to sin once and for all, and now the life that He lives is life with God. In the same way, you must see yourselves as being dead to sin but alive for God in Christ Jesus.” (Rom 6: 8-11)
Therefore, as we celebrate Easter, it is also a celebration of our new life, a celebration that we have died in sin, and now live in God.
If we do not repent and unwilling to let go of our bad habits, we will not be able to experience the joy and peace that our Risen Lord has brought us. His RESURRECTION will mean nothing to us.
On the road to Emmaus, the two disciples did not recognise Jesus until He shared the Word and broke the bread before them. Today, He, through His Word and the breaking of the bread, is with us. In every Eucharistic celebration, Jesus meets us at the Proclamation of the Word and the Eucharist. Did you recognise Him? Let us encounter the Lord by seeking Him wholeheartedly. Let not the noises and temptations of the world blind and deafen us to see His Presence and to hear His Voice.
As we commence the celebration of the RESURRECTION of our Lord Jesus, I pray that we will cultivate new habits in being nourished daily in the Word of God and the Eucharist. As such, you will come to a deeper encounter with Jesus Christ, who pours out His abundant blessings of strength, graces and wisdom to empower you to lead your life and your call.
May the peace of the Risen Lord be with you always!
+ Archbishop John Wong