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Joy: the value of experiencing joy in Risen Christ

Easter Sunday: April 17, 2022

THE BIGGEST JOYFUL CELEBRATION IN CHRISTIANITY:
One of the biggest joyful celebration in Christianity many non believers and even some of the Christians believe it to be Christmas. It is because the way in which we Christians and others celebrate Christmas with lots of decorations and cultural programme. But in the process people get wrong information on what is the biggest celebration and most important celebration in the history of Christianity.

It is the Easter. If there is no resurrection there is no Christianity. Jesus came into this world as human being he did everything like human being expect sin. He died like a criminal but what made him Christ the messiah is his resurrection the victory over death. Christmas becomes very colorful, crib, stars, decorations, greeting cards, Santa Claus etc. whereas  Specialty of Easter is fire, light, candle, hymns, plenty of readings, blessing of water, creed.  If Christians have a feast then, it is Easter!

Easter is one of the principal holidays, or feasts, of Christianity. It marks the Resurrection of Jesus three days after his death by crucifixion. For many Christian churches, Easter is the joyful end to the Lenten season of fasting and penitence. For Christians, Easter represents Jesus Christ's victory over death. His resurrection is proof He is the Son of God, and it is the reason we can find hope in an eternity spent with Him. During Easter, we celebrate what we believe to be the biggest moment in history.   For us each year the journey towards Easter starts from Ash Wednesday to Palm Sunday where Jesus entry into Jerusalem where he will undergo suffering and death and finally his resurrection into heaven. The holy week celebrations are so meaning full and the whole salvation history is beautifully brought about in the readings. Every thing is so symbolic. The real joy of Easter is for those who have taken the Lenten season very seriously and have prepared themselves for the celebration. For all those who have not prepared themselves it will be another ritual one has to go through and the celebration will be just like any other celebration without making any impact on their life. Now the question we need to ask have I prepared myself for the celebration of Easter? How was my Lenten preparation for this great celebration? Did I pray, fast and do charity during the lent? With these question lets mediated on the resurrection of the lord to experience the joy of Easter.

THE EVIDENCE FOR THIS RESURRECTION IS CAN BE SEEN IN THE BIBLE.
Christianity began with a very specific message:
the Crucified has been raised from the dead  - 1 Cor 15:3-5; Acts 2:22-24
HE is the Savior   - Rom 4:25
ever present living Lord of the world   - Rom 10:9; 14.9; 1 Cor 12:3; 16:22;     Phil 2:8-11.
The entire NT was written in the light of this new faith.

The early Christians believed:
Redemption from sin depended on Jesus’ resurrection (1 Cor       15:14,17; 1 Cor 15:11; Acts 2:23)

Jesus’ resurrection structured their very account of God. Gal 1:1 – “God the Father, who raised him from the Dead”. They recognized that they would be the “most pitiable” of all people, if they were wrong (1 Cor 15:19).

“It is Jesus who gives as it were, color, light and rupa to God”- Vengal Chakkarai

Jesus’ resurrection is the heart of the Christian creed: “On the third day he rose again.”

The Eucharistic acclamations express the central belief that salvation comes through the resurrection of the crucified Christ: “dying you destroyed our death. Raising you restored our life. Lord Jesus, come in glory.”

THE EMPTY TOMB:
For me whenever I go to the all souls day celebration on 2nd November to pray for my dear and near ones who lived with me and died there is always  this thought comes to my mind. Why I have come to the cemetery to pray for them are they still here buried or they have gone to the lord. My belief and Christian tradition tells me that women coming to the tomb of Jesus on the third day after his crucifixion found it empty.

The empty tomb is the Christian tradition that women coming to the tomb of Jesus on the third day after his crucifixion found it empty. The story is found in all four gospels, but beyond this basic outline they agree on little. However, the whole death, burial, and resurrection narrative predates the gospels and Paul's letters via oral traditions. The gospel authors' usage of standard literary, historical, and biographical compositional practices of their day along with their use of multiple sources account for much of the differences, which were usually over peripheral details. Mark's Gospel, in its original ending, the women who discover the tomb flee, telling no one, after meeting a young man who he tells them that Jesus will meet the disciples in Galilee; Matthew introduces guards and a curious doublet whereby the women are told twice, by angels and then by Jesus, that he will meet the disciples in Galilee; Luke changes Mark's one "young man" to two, adds Peter's inspection of the tomb, and deletes the promise that Jesus would meet his disciples in Galilee; John reduces the women to the solitary Mary Magdalene and introduces the "beloved disciple" who visits the tomb with Peter and is the first to understand its significance. This shows Jesus is the resurrection and life for whoever believes in the Lord will not die rather he will live forever.  We have also need believe that there is the empty Tomb.

HAVE YOU SEEN THE LORD?
In the Gospel of John we see Mary Magdalene saying “I have SEEN the LORD” (Jn 20:18). Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: “I have seen the Lord!”  From then on she becomes a Apostle of Good news that Jesus is alive and he has over powered Death. “I have SEEN the LORD” (Jn 20:18) this should be also our experience that I have seen the lord. And it is no longer I who live; it is Christ who lives in me.

As we celebrate Easter after having spent forty days in fasting, prayer and in doing charity. We need to ask this question did I see the lord. Have I experienced the lord in my fasting and in my prayer and in my charity? If not our celebration of Easter is meaningless.

WE ARE CALL TO LIVE IN CHRIST:
‘It is no longer I who live but Christ in me’ (Gal 2:20) like Paul our faith experience should be our ego and our power and position and our attachments and our longing should be the Lord. It is he who lives in me. Another way to live Christ through the Spirit and through faith is in Ephesians 3:16-17, that is to be strengthened with power through His Spirit into the inner man, that Christ may make His home in our hearts through faith. The more we are strengthened into our inner being, into our spirit, the more Christ makes His home in our hearts; that is, He makes His home in our mind, thoughts. Emotions, feelings, desires, will, intentions, choices. The more He makes His home in our hearts, the more He lives His life through us, and the more we express Him we become another Christ. Life in Christ is based on love and compassion and peace and harmony. As Easter people we are called to be joyful and loving. Resurrection is Heavenly happiness and   we share in the resurrection of the Lord Rom 6:6.  We are Easter people and Alleluia is our song. This year when I sing Alleluia let us be joyful that Jesus is alive in us.  We have to become salt and light to the world in the light of Resurrection of the lord.

St. Paul reminds us that we must seek things that are above and not on this earth

Alexander the Great had three dying wishes:

  1. That his Doctors only will carry his coffin
  2. That path to graveyard to be with gold, silver and riches
  3. That both his hands to be kept open
  • Reason is that no Doctor can ultimately save anyone
  • Reason is that all I have earned in life also will not be of use
  • Reason is that I came empty handed and go empty handed.

This Easter Passover for us should be Passover from Selfishness to Generosity and from Individualism to Community and from Death to life which means that Life that is lived in Christ. We become a Gift of PEACE to others in this Easter.

Wish you all a happy Easter!  

May the Risen Christ guide us all through –Holy Spirit?

Live like first Christian community!  Who shared everything with each other and they lived in the joy of the risen lord.

 

Radio Veritas Asia (RVA), a media platform of the Catholic Church, aims to share Christ. RVA started in 1969 as a continental Catholic radio station to serve Asian countries in their respective local language, thus earning the tag “the Voice of Asian Christianity.”  Responding to the emerging context, RVA embraced media platforms to connect with the global Asian audience via its 21 language websites and various social media platforms.