Easter Message from OJPD-CBCI

April 1, 2013 by  
Filed under newsletter-india

Most Rev. Yvon AmbroiseResurrection is the raison d’être and the foundation to Christian faith. Hence St Paul cautions: “But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised; if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain.” (1 Cor 15:13-14).Then he goes on to expound the import and the implication of Christian faith thus: “For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his” (Rom 6:5).

Jesus’ death and resurrection can be best understood only in the context and within the framework of the Kingdom of God – a new society where justice and peace will prevail, and where every human person will enjoy fullness of life. It is his quest for realisation of God’s kingdom here on earth that led him to negate all forces of oppression, forces of sin and death. It is the same quest of his that brought about his death on the Cross. Pope Francis, in his Palm Sunday homily on 24 March 2013, rightly pointed out: “Jesus on the Cross feels the whole weight of the evil… ” which includes “wars, violence, economic conflicts that hit the weakest, greed for money, power, corruption, divisions, crimes against human life and against creation! And our personal sins: our failures in love and respect towards God, towards our neighbour and towards the whole of creation.” The new Pope quickly added that “with the force of God’s love he conquers it; he defeats it with his resurrection.”

When reread, Rom 6:5 would mean, in today’s context, that those who believe in Jesus will have to – as agents of God’s Kingdom –  resist the forces of oppression, the forces of sin and death – even at the cost their lives. However, ‘united with him in a death like his (in their effort to establish a new society), we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his’. Resurrection is God’s reward not only for crucified Jesus but also for the crucified of today!

In the light of the above reflection, the following statement of Archbishop Oscar Romero sounds so real: “Those who put their faith in the Risen One and work for a world more just, who protests against the injustices of the present system, against the abuses of unjust authorities, against the wrongfulness of humans exploiting humans, all those who begin their struggle with the resurrection of the great Liberator – they alone are authentic Christians.”

May this Easter fill us with new hopes and new energy for a renewed engagement with justice and peace! Joyous Easter!

Most Rev. Yvon Ambroise

Most Rev. Mathew Arackal
Most Rev. Gerald Almeida
Member Bishops

Fr. Charles Irudayam

Office for Justice, Peace and Development (OJPD)
Catholic Bishops Conference of India (CBCI)

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