Malankara World

Easter (Pascha) Message

Musings For Easter

by Dr. Yakob Mar Irenaios

Try to hold the lighted Easter Candle in front of your eyes and concentrate on the small flame. Does it not silently sing about the pain of selfless love and suffering, the glance of mercy and assurance, and small acts of charity which lighten up a few, sometime unknown, lives somewhere?

Yes, it was the inauguration of the renewed and recreated humanity at the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. After a long session of maligning, torture, pain and death, there is light of new life, and real and mystical answers for life's problems. The atmosphere has not changed basically, but there is a new justification for suffering for others' sake, and a new definition for a meaningful life, where we are not alone but the One who braved critical Passion and Death does invigorate us minute by minute! Thus, by all accounts, Easter is much less a secular celebration than the Resurrection of the fundamental goodness and virtues that God planted in creation, for us to choose by exercising our free will. Perhaps this festival points to humanity's rediscovery of the eternity of righteousness, amidst the growing and darkening clouds of fundamentalism, terrorism and the worst of all-materialism of the "believers".

Through the centuries, divine and "human" values like sacrifice, unconditional love, tolerance, genuine devotion sans exhibition, sanctity of life and purity in human relations and the divine fellowship called the family have been not only given the go by, but buried deep in the self seeking and devilish search for material and momentary pleasure, at the expense of life values. Resurrection of our Lord is an assurance of our own resurrection and freedom from the bondage of eternal perdition, and brings in its train the assurance of liberation from sin and Satan as well. Holding on to all kinds of unholiness and voluptuousness and hate amounting to slicing human throats, and "celebrating" Easter does not seem to make any sense at all.

Where love sets in the horizon of human lives, cruelty and death take over. We enjoy so many amenities and conveniences really at the expense of the sweat and privations of a sizable number of humans. As the earth is on the verge of environmental collapse due it being misused and manhandled to satisfy human greed, what does the Resurrection of the Lord mean in our generation? The "The evil animal" referred to in the Book of Revelation apparently has started raising its hydra head in different directions. Perhaps it is the time to humble ourselves and pray much more for the world and its occupants!

Our concern and focus need to be on those who start imitating our Lord and his saints. This exactly is an exhortation from St. Paul. T. S. Eliot exhorted people of his generation about the value and inevitability of,

"The awful daring of a moment's surrender" (The Waste Land)

to God's purposes. All the while we have been so much occupied by our own designs and purposes. Resurrection is a call for total surrender!

In our times we are listening to stories too terrible for our ears. In days ahead we may be made to witness more cruel deeds and hear more startling stories around the world: desecration of martyrs' tombs (like Mar Bahanam's tomb in Syria) and untold cruelty towards human beings. On the other side in the life of profligacy , and irresponsible and selfish pleasure seeking.

Jesus has assured us his peace, with a rider, it is not as the world gives. Therefore, our very concept of world peace needs to be redefined.

It is no more "bhai- bhai" between India and Pakistan, Israel and Palestine, the Koreas and so on. Real peace transcends the human idea of secular or religious coexistence. Peace in its real sense, is our peace with God, nature and all created beings. It is as big and tremendous as that!

As we greet each other in the Orthodox manner, saying, 'HE IS RISEN, INDEED HE IS', on the Easter morn, let us be more and more concerned about the Gospel virtues which have slowly disappeared from our lives. The RESURRECTION of Christian spiritual values in our personal, family and social life shall make us eligible to the joy of Easter. Perhaps that shall be our real celebration, where we express our thankfulness to our Lord who died and gave us life through a life of sanctity and service for the down trodden and sidelined.

HE IS RISEN, INDEED HE IS!

May the brilliant light of the New Life of Easter shine upon all faithful, around the globe!

See Also:

Passion Week Supplement in Malankara World

Sermons, Bible Commentaries and Bible Analyses for Kyomtho - Easter Sunday

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