The good news I share with you today is that Jesus Christ is risen today — and of course it is a popular song that will be heard in many Christian churches today. So our prayers today will be for the grace to tell the story of the life of Jesus, His resurrection and of the hope of victory in store for us through Him.
But, before that it will be important to note that the story of the resurrection of Jesus was not an instant hit. The gospel account (Jn. 20, 1-9) described the discovery of the empty tomb and the disheartening words that, “They have taken the Lord away and we don’t know where they put Him.” But the unfolding events later coupled with His appearing to them and showing them how everything about Him has the support of the scriptures changed everything. And once convinced they started preaching as Peter did in that Acts of the Apostles story (10, 34—43) that caught the attention of the people. Peter’s preaching can be summarized as these, God sent Jesus into the world; Jesus did everything good; He was killed; God raised Him up; He appeared to them; He asked that they should preach about the last judgement.
Gathering today to celebrate the feast of the resurrection, it will be important for us to find out what Easter meant to the early apostles of Jesus. 1). It meant that evil and wickedness will not win eternally. 2). It meant that for those who believe, there is hope of life after this one. These two meanings I imagine remain relevant for us today. Yes, we have witnessed so much wickedness and acts by evil people in our world to the extent of asking at times where God is in all these. Yet today we gather to express our faith in a victorious God. We have witnessed so m
uch that has confused and at times depressed us. Yet today we have gathered to sing that because He lives we can face tomorrow …
So whether you come every day or every Sunday, or twice a year, it is good to pay attention to the meaning at the depth of our hearts about our loving God who is always victorious and who has made us for life with him. It is for that depth of meaning that we have all gathered. And when we pay this attention, we will appreciate St. Paul’s advice (Col. 3, 1—4) for us to seek what is above where Jesus our Savior is. With the intention for what is above we will like Christ be about everywhere doing good.
And yes you may experience a lot of obstacles; Easter tells you that your goodness will always triumph. Yes you may be knocked down, Easter tells you that you will be raised up again as God never abandons those who trust in Him. So what is my Easter message to you? Don’t be afraid because in the resurrection of Christ, God has shown us that the last chapter of our lives is with Him.
So let’s go on doing good. Let’s go on telling the world what God has offered us through Christ. Let’s keep our hope for eternity alive and do our best to win it. And since Easter is a season of new life, let’s allow ourselves to live as renewed people. Make sure today to touch someone with your hope for a better tomorrow—all because He Lives!
Fr. Uju P. Okeahialam, PhD
Sacred Heart Catholic Church