“And he saw and believed!” (Jn 20:8)
I write this message at a time when there are a lot of uncertainties in the Church and in the world. The change in the papacy, the continuous attacks on the Church; the changes in human relations, the ongoing attacks on the institution of the family; the change in political landscapes, the gradual erosion of the rights and dignity of the poor and vulnerable, and so on. All these, and many more, are “signs of the times” that invite us to seriously re-examine our faith as believers of the Risen Lord.
We confess that Jesus “suffered death and was buried, and rose again on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures” (Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed). How does this creed influence the way we relate to the situation within and outside the Church today? How do we live out the Easter event in our daily lives?
Benedict XVI once said, “The event of Christ’s death and Resurrection is the heart of Christianity, principal fulcrum of our faith, powerful lever of our certainty, impetuous wind that sweeps away every fear and indecision, every doubt and human calculation.” What a powerful statement of faith in a world of change and uncertainties!
As believers of the Risen Lord, His resurrection has brought certainty to the world of change. Leaders come and go, political regimes come and go, events come and go, but as long as our eyes are fixed on Jesus, we will walk on the water of the raging sea and will not be drowned. Yes, we can walk on water when we hold on to the word of our Risen Lord, “In the world you will have trouble, but be brave, I have conquered the world” (Jn 16:33).
As we celebrate Easter in this Year of Faith, it is my prayer and hope that we will read the “signs of the times” as believers of the Risen Lord and will not allow feelings of despair weaken our zeal in sharing the Gospel. The Resurrection of Jesus gives us hope to overcome sufferings and evils. Indeed, “If Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain” (1 Cor 15:14). Let us then always have our answer ready for people who ask us the reason for the hope that we all have (cf 1 Pt 3:15b).
May you and your loved ones have a joyful and hopeful Easter!
Most Rev John Wong