Don’t be Afraid for Jesus is Risen!

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The celebration of Easter is the confirmation of our faith. Our faith is deeply rooted and finds its real meaning in the resurrection of Jesus. St. Paul says that, if Christ is not raised, then all our believing is in vain. Hence our faith tells us that Good Friday and the death of Jesus is not the climax of Holy Week. It is only a path in the achievement of the final resurrection. The Cross was the high point of Jesus’ gift of Himself to the Father for our sake and the Father returns the gift of the resurrected Jesus to us.

A few of the disciples greeted the news about the resurrection of Jesus with some skepticism. For example, first, before the actual encounter with the Risen Jesus, there is such hopelessness in the lives of three women. They who came to the tomb early and their primary question was, “Who will roll back the stone?” Mary Magdalene in the Gospel according to John, is in despair because she cannot find the body of Jesus. In the Gospel of Mark, the Risen Jesus rebukes the disciples for their unbelief. Thomas refused to believe till he touched Jesus. In the Gospel of Luke, Jesus had to eat a piece of baked fish to prove that He was not just a ghost. The initial skepticism gave way to certain and sure faith. Once the disciples believed, they became powerful witnesses of Jesus. The disciples on the road to Emmaus looked downcast. But we know that is only a part of the story. After pain, suffering and death comes the “good news.” Jesus is Risen! Gloom gives way to excitement, despair to hope, death to life. He is alive! Alleluia!

On Easter Day, let us thank God for the gift of the Risen Jesus, given once again to us. The Resurrected Jesus gives His message of peace to all the disciples every time He meets them and begins to teach them. This same message is given to us today as we celebrate Jesus’ rising from the dead. I pray that there is hope in hopeless and despair situations. The disciples who looked downcast find solace and peace which will remain in our hearts always, to make us His messengers in the world of today. Let us celebrate that Christ is risen indeed! Alleluia!

Fr. Joy Poonoly (Provincial Superior)

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