Two thousand years ago, the first Christians, a group of men and women who followed and accompanied Jesus of Nazareth throughout his public ministry, happily confessed that the Crucified, “the one killed by hanging him on a cross,” had changed their lives. He had taken them out of an old human condition and transformed them into new men and women: with new mentality, a new way of being and acting in the world. From that point on they believed, confessed, proclaimed and celebrated that Jesus was alive; that the Christ was resurrected; that the last word from God “the Father” about his Son’s life was not death; that the resurrection of Jesus meant triumph of life over death, triumph of good over the manifestation and experience of evil in the world. These facts bring to human history the view of a new horizon and a possibility to see the hope that does not die.
Transformed by the once dead whom they now confess is alive, they can so confess precisely because of the change which he brought to their lives. The first Christians go out to the world to share and to preach with words and actions the good news of the Resurrection. At the same time they consign in writing their confessions of faith, together with historical facts which occurred in their small, new, fraternal and Eucharistic community of believers.
All this shows that the Resurrection is, more than a doctrinal body, the foundation of Christianity. It is a new life experience of transformed life, abundant life; and a manifestation against evil, sin and death. The resurrection which we celebrate is a conviction which is manifested and sustained with a new lifestyle. Through it, Christians devote themselves and hope for the construction of a better world; that is to say, a more divine world in its profound humanity.
Through Christ’s Resurrection, Christiany as well as each Christian, rises to propose a more equitable world: more just, more solidarious, more visible, more fraternal, more human. They would be against all manifestation of evil, against all inhuman and dehumanizing experiences, against all aggression to human and humanity, against anything which damages the image and likeness of God in his creatures.
The Resurrection, therefore, is a confession of faith. It is the liturgical feast, but --above all-- it is the personal and ecclesial commitment to be in and for the world daily; a space/time of hope among hopelessness; a sign of joy among sadness; a space of mercy among so many forms of selfishness, division and violence; an opportunity for peace in the middle of war, pain and death. This is the evangelistic task of the Church. In it resides the reason to be and to exist of the Christian Community, and gives it its identity and its mission in the world.
Never before has it been more opportune, never more convenient, but also never more compromising to have the celebration of the Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ --our celebration with him and in him-- in a world in crisis, in a society urged with men and with new and transformed structures. Never before has there been the present urgency to live and to share what it means to confess that Christ lives!
“Easter” (Greek: Pascha) comes from the Hebrew word which means “to pass”: “to pass” through the Red Sea, “to pass” from death to life, from sin to grace, from life without Christ to a life in Him; from hate to love, from indifference to a solidary commitment; from a world without God to a world constructed for humanization which is deification
May these days of “Passover” celebration mean the renovation of our most important Christian commitment in a personal and ecclesial manner: to be (for a world in crisis) a sign of the new and abundant life which Christ offers to us. Happy Easter! Blessed Pascha!