The Easter spirit PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 01 April 2016 14:24

REFLECTION

BY FR. ROY CIMAGALA

Christ our savior, is risen, never to die again. This is the greatest news of all time. Nothing can outshine it. And with it, a dam-burst of happy consequences come our way.

The only thing that can nullify this news is our freedom, that is, when we would stupidly use it to deny Christ, either openly or secretly, without repenting. Yes, Peter, the head of the apostles, came close to it by denying him, not only once, but three times, but he repented. That is the difference between our salvation and condemnation, between our glorification and perdition.

With Christ’s resurrection which by the way came as a result of his death on the cross and never separated from it, all  possible sins and their consequences, especially the worst one whic is our eternal death, have been conquered. What great joy we are given with this piece of news!

With Christ’s resurrection, we are given a way out of all our predicaments, no matter how bad, ugly and humanly insoluble they are. If we only unite ourselves with Christ, that is, if we arewilling to go through all his suffering and death, we too, with him, can also have our resurrection. Victory is actually guaranteed for us already.

Of course, we have to understand that Christ’s passion, death and resurrection summarizes all his teaching. And so, if we are willing to go through Christ’s paschal mystery, we should at least have tried to live by his teaching.

Yes, we should try our best to be most consistent toChrist’s teaching and example, but we also know that observance of Christ’s teaching is not perfect, and in fact is full of deviations.

Just the same, as long as we have the intention, as long as we repent when we fall, then the fruits of Christ’s redemptive work can still be ours. That’s what divine mercy is all about.

The only sin that cannot be forgiven or that resists God’s abundant mercy, is the sin against the Holy Spirit, which is not only a matter of refusing to believe in the Holy Spirit, but also of

mocking him. This is when we live on our own strength and our own estimation of things. It would just be a matter of time before an invincible despair would set in.

This is the Easter spirit that is given to us and that we should receive with great joy, gratitude and utmost fidelity. It is a spirit that gives us supreme confidence and peace. It is a spirit of continual renewal, of making ourselves a new creation in Christ again and again.

To have this Easter spirit we need to rise also from the death of our sins, like what Christ did. This can happen every time we say sorry to God and to anyone affected by our faults, mistakes, sins, and especially when we go to confession and receive Christ in holy communion.

In other words, it’s when we welcome the risen and ever-living Christ that we receive this Easter spirit. How wonderful it would be if we just abide by this central truth of our faith! We should not miss this great opportunity. Let’s not be doubtful as the apostles were before the resurrection and even right before Christ’s ascension.

Let me remit to you the beautiful words Pope Francis said in his Easter Vigil homily.

“We cannot discover life by being sad, bereft of hope.  Let us not stay imprisoned within ourselves, but let us break open our sealed tombs to the Lord so that he may enter and grant us life.

“Let us give him the stones of our rancour and the boulders of our past, those heavy burdens of our weaknesses and falls.  Christ wants to come and take us by the hand to bring us out of our anguish.

“This is the first stone to be moved aside this night: the lack of hope which imprisons us within ourselves.  May the Lord free us from this trap, from being Christians without hope, who live as if the Lord were not risen, as if our problems were the centre of our lives.

“We see and will continue to see problems both within and without.  They will always be there… It is important to shed the light of the Risen Lord upon our problems, and in a certain sense, to “evangelize” them.

“Let us not allow darkness and fear to distract us and control us; we must cry out to them: the Lord “is not here, but has risen!”  He is our greatest joy; he is always at our side and will never let us down.”