-Fr. Cedric Prakash SJ*
Easter is Faith– the simple, pure faith of ordinary people, who know that Jesus, our Risen Lord is truly the Messiah; the one who has come to set them free from earthly bondages and from the slavery of sin. A faith which is deep and eternal – not a temporary, passing, magical fad!
Easter is Hope– for a new dawn: the one which removes the clouds of fear and darkness. The hope which is radiant and nurturing; which counters hopelessness, when all is lost. The chrysalis moment when the butterfly is about to be born- and becomes hope for the flowers.
Easter is Mercy– his words resonate so powerfully through the portals of time: “this day you will be with me in Paradise”; “Father forgive them for they know not what they do!” One truly celebrates God’s mercy and His grace that we rise and run willingly into his loving embrace.
Easter is Justice– so meaningfully epitomised when Jesus on his knees, washes the feet of His disciples. He excludes none. We are called to do the same: wash the feet of women, children and men; particularly the excluded; to break bread with them; to ensure a more just, equitable society
Easter is Love– before his death on the cross, Jesus gave his disciples a new, non-negotiable commandment “Love one another; as I have loved you, so you also should love one another.” Love is the core, the essence of discipleship. “By this all will know, that you are my disciples!”
Easter is Peace- which our broken world yearns for! A peace which reconciles, bridges, builds and heals. It is not the peace of the graveyard or the empty tomb. It is peace which sustains, gives life and meaning, based on justice and liberty. Jesus says, “My peace I give you!”
Easter is Joy– which Mary experiences when she finds that the ‘gardener’, is in fact her “rabboni”- her Master and Mentor, her Saviour and God. The joy that makes her run in haste to give the “good news” to the brothers. The joy that a woman is in fact the first real evangeliser.
Easter is Journey– the way of the cross of those who dare: Peter who denies Jesus, Simon who is forced to help, women who weep; at the foot of the cross Mary his mother, with his disciples James and John. The journey Jesus makes to Emmaus with men of little faith, with the lost.
Easter is People- those who are touched by him in many different ways. People who are not afraid to follow him. Those who spontaneously recognise him in the breaking of the bread. Those who have the courage to be his witnesses for a more just, reconciling and peaceful world!
We are called to embody the Easter message of Faith, Hope, Mercy, Justice, Love, Peace, Joy, to journey with Jesus and his people! If we are his disciples we have no choice but to be the “Easter People” – and to live the gifts of His Resurrection in every dimension of our lives!
20 April 2019
*Fr. Cedric Prakash SJ is a human rights activist and writer. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org