Dear brothers, sisters, and friends,
Christ is risen! When I used to attend a Slavonic language Catholic church, on Easter morning we would greet each other with the Paschal Greeting: “Christos voskresе”, followed by the response “Voistinu voskresе!” – meaning “Christ is risen,” with the response, “He is risen indeed!” In Latin we can say, “Christus resurrexit!”, “Resurrexit vere!”
For Christians, Easter Day is one of the most important holy days during the church’s liturgical calendar. While many in the world have commercialised this day, transforming it into a mere dinner with friends and family, devout followers of Christ know not only of the importance of this day, but also of the sacredness in which it is to be held. We do not treat anything that is sacred in a casual or mundane manner.
The resurrection of Christ (the main reason we celebrate Easter), is the very foundation of our belief in the future. The sacrifice, death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ is the very bedrock in which we place our hope to one day be at His side for all eternity. The Scriptures are quite clear on the matter. We read in St. Paul’s first epistle to the Corinthians: “Now if Christ is preached, that he rose again from the dead, how is it that some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? For if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not risen. And if Christ has not risen, then our preaching is useless, and your faith is also useless. Then, too, we would be found to be false witnesses of God, because we would have given testimony against God, saying that he had raised up Christ, when he had not raised him up, if, indeed, the dead do not rise again. For if the dead do not rise again, then neither has Christ risen again. But if Christ has not risen, then your faith is vain; for you would still be in your sins. Then, too, those who have fallen asleep in Christ would have perished. If we have hope in Christ for this life only, then we are more miserable than all men. But now Christ has risen again from the dead, as the first-fruits of those who sleep.” (1 Corinthians 15:12-20, Catholic Bible PDV)
Mary, the Blessed Mother of our Lord already had a firm foundation for her faith. She held the hope of the resurrection, and believed the angels when visiting the tomb. The angels said, “He is not here. For he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where the Lord was placed.” (St. Matthew 28:6) As Christians we know that Christ rose from the tomb. We do not doubt it. We do not view it as some type of allegory We know that His Gospel is true and faithful. Thus, His resurrection gives us a solid foundation in which to place our trust in how our heavenly Father will hold to His promises to bring all His children to safety. “Do you suppose that a dead man will live again? On each of the days in which I now battle, I wait until my transformation occurs. You will call me and I will answer you; to the work of your hands, you will extend your right hand.” (Job 14:14,15)
“O GOD, who for our redemption didst give thine only-begotten Son to the death of the Cross, and by his glorious resurrection hast delivered us from the power of our enemy; Grant us so to die daily from sin, that we may evermore live with him in the joy of his resurrection; through the same thy Son Christ our Lord. Amen.” (Collect for Easter, Book of Common Prayer 1928)
Christ is risen! Indeed, He is risen!
O Lord Jesus Christ, by thy blood at Calvary were we purchased.
Please accept my sincere, heart-felt plea for the wrongs I have committed against thee.
Beginning this Easter Day, may I continue to grow, every day,
in appreciation and thankfulness for what thou hast done
for me, and for the whole world.
May my actions toward thee, and thy name, ever be honourable, as a true disciple.
As you have risen in the East, may you also rise in my heart, each time I hear thy name,
and each time I meditate upon thy Sacred Heart.
May you have a blessed Easter.
28 March 2018