From Tests to Testimonies

April 1, 2013 by  
Filed under newsletter-lead

The Way of the Cross held on Good Friday was much more than just another one of The CSF’s better programs. For most it was a spiritual experience, as never before. An ecumenical pilgrimage with Christians of other denominations and rites joining in to pray, fast and do penance for the persecuted. We had a sprinkling of foreigners too this time. Thousands in one accord – witnessing and evangelizing – telling thousands of the non-Christians watching, the Calvary story. We stopped at 10 spots, before the finale where the crucifixion and resurrection was enacted. And even if two thousand were impacted at each stop, we have reached out to a minimum of 20,000 people, besides thousands more along the many kilometers we trudged along.

Crowd on the live stations of the cross on good friday

But for me, my family, friends and those closely associated with The CSF and our trials, it was yet another time, when the LORD showed us how a test could be turned to a testimony, if we relied on HIM… As you are aware, its been since CHRISTmas that some “Christian friends” and vested interests falsely accused me in two complaints. They have since then been doing overtime defaming me, going any lengths and stooping to any levels to tarnish our image. They have been trying their best to even get me behind bars. But that is not what I feared. I knew such issues would arise, the day the LORD called me to work for the persecuted. It is the timing that I was worried about… Since preparations for the Stations of the Cross were on, I had to reluctantly make alternative arrangements for my not possibly being there. We had no choice other than to pray fervently, going on our knees, seeking HIS intervention.

live stations of the cross on good friday live stations of the cross on good friday

I have never been closer to the LORD, as I find myself all through these testing times. And HE has given me multiple testimonies. I could actually empathize with those persecuted, who like Jesus, even though innocent were suffering for what is right. I could feel in a small way, the full weight of this sinful world – with its corruption, injustices, vengeance, hate, etc. But, I was thankful that being in the LORD, we could not only endure the suffering, but also more importantly – forgive them, so as to be forgiven of our own sins and pray for the persecutors. Easter gives us that eternal hope, which is why we conclude the Way of the Cross with the Resurrection scene and the hymn – I will never forget you, my people.

live stations of the Cross on good friday

Our request to you, dear reader is for prayers, even as with the LORD’s help we are determined to fight the challenges ahead. As I said earlier, we can in return only pray for those whom the LORD uses to assist us in this service/ministry/apostolate and we urge you to pray for our collaborators and partners too.

More of our tests and testimonies in future updates.

Blessings & Respect,

Your brother in Christ,

Joseph Dias

live stations of the Cross on good friday

We are an Easter people

Do not let our hope be stolen!
How many wounds are inflicted upon humanity by evil!
Wars, violence, economic conflicts that hit the weakest, greed for money,
Love of power, corruption, divisions,
crimes against human life and against creation!

Our personal sins: our failures in love and respect towards God,
towards our neighbour and towards the whole of creation.
Jesus on the Cross feels the whole weight of the evil,
and with the force of God’s love he conquers it,
he defeats it with his resurrection.

Dear friends, we can all conquer the evil that is in us and in the world,
with Christ, with the force of good!
Do we feel weak, inadequate, powerless?
But God is not looking for powerful means,
it is through the Cross that he has conquered evil!

We must not believe the Evil One when he tells us,
you can do nothing to counter violence, corruption, injustice, your sins!
We must never grow accustomed to evil!
With Christ we can transform ourselves and the world.

We must bear the victory of Christ’s Cross to everyone everywhere,
we must bear this great love of God.
And this requires all of us not to be afraid to step outside ourselves,
to reach out to others.

– pope francis

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