Hope and Joy-Filled Easter People!

The resurrection of Jesus creates hope for our present and future existence. We see and recognize God present in each and every creation that has the capacity for complete transformation and fulfillment. We have a partial resurrection in each and every minute of our lives as we exist on earth: child leaving the womb, the adolescent entering the adult life, the adult experiencing middle-age crises and finally the human person leaving this earthly life with his/her death, all these move towards a fuller life. Are we living our lives with a hope of resurrection or minds filled with all the negative elements over self and others? Easter is a call for all of us to see the goodness of each other and avoid finding fault with others because of our disillusionment.
Resurrection is a missional event to enter into new ventures like that of the disciples of Jesus Christ. It is not an event of fear but the event of peace and joy. The very first word that Jesus uttered to the disciples was “Peace be with you” (Jn 20:21) or “Fear Not” because they were filled with fear. Our mission, hence, is not to create our own presence but be the presence of the Risen Christ that leads people, structures, systems and cultures. Be ever ready with an open mind and heart to become border crossing persons because the scenario we are living in is impelling us for missionary stations. Instead of saying something like the system is not good or the persons in authority are not very effective, let’s strive to create an impact of the resurrected Jesus by giving hope to others amidst desolation.
In this hope and joy filled season of Easter, may I earnestly make an appeal to all for a personal experience and encounter with the living Christ as we are fast approaching the 20th General Chapter. Please be filled with the presence of the Resurrected Jesus by increasing our prayers and be spiritually united with the delegates of the chapter. May this Easter be an illumining experience of the Risen Christ the light of all nations to move beyond our bindings and borders to become intercultural persons filled with hope and courage to be Servants of Charity to the universe!
Fr. Soosai Rathinam

Advertisements

Blistering Easter Joy and Becoming an Easter People!

le_saintes_femmes_au_tombeau-bougureauI love to reflect on the words of St. Augustine “We are Easter People and ‘ALLELUIA’ is our song.” Furthermore, the Year of Consecrated Life coincides with these words and echoes “Rejoice! Wake up the World!” Easter is a great season of hope in which we are called to recover the power as we light the Paschal Candle from the new fire dispelling all darkness and sins.
Resurrection is a mystery not to be talked about, but a mystery to be penetrated in prayer and solitude. We repeat often throughout all of Easter Week “This is the day the Lord has made; let us be glad and rejoice in it” (Ps 118,24) and while repeating these words so many times we might ask, “Is Jesus truly risen in my conviction, in my belief system?” That is why we proclaim Jesus as Risen using the present tense “He is Risen!”
Jesus brings us a message of hope, peace and joy. One of the difficult things before us today is to acquire personally and to convince people to hope in the goodness of each other. We feel happy and more optimistic when things are going according to our interests and expectations, whereas when negative experiences occur, illusion and hateful feelings break out. In our communities and approach, we want to close the doors and say, “It’s useless; nothing will change!” There is a tendency to think we are better off as individuals and this type of exclusion undermines our communion and bond of charity. Henceforth, Resurrection reminds us to celebrate the giftedness of each one and say, “from now on you have part in me.”
The imparting greeting and gift of the Risen Lord is “Peace to you!” How do we cherish this inheritance in the midst of fear, war, violence and religious persecution? May this celebration of Easter fill each of you with a hope and joy of His transforming presence as the “Regina Caeli Laetare” (Queen of Heaven rejoice) hymn unveils the grief of the world and dispels all sorts of darkness!
Fr. Soosai Rathinam

Breaking the Barrier of Space Wide Open for the Community! CHRIST IS RISEN, ALLELUIA!

Fr. Soosai Rathinam, SdC

“Christ has died, Christ is Risen and Christ will come again”. This is the earliest faith-affirmation of the Christian Church.  “And if Christ has not been raised, then empty (too) is our preaching; empty, too, your faith” (I Cor 15,14)! These similar statements of the early Church and the gathering of the disciples on the first day of the week to celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus makes it more than clear that the experience of the Risen Lord is the foundation of Christian Faith.

But how do we understand the Resurrected Presence and Power of Jesus Christ?  Death and Resurrection are parallel events, one on the part of the Human and the other on the part of the Divine.  The death of Jesus is nothing but a picturesque demonstration of total powerlessness or kenosis embraced by Jesus to redeem humanity. The crucified hands (powerless to perform), the crucified legs (powerless to move) and the thirsty mouth (powerless to speak) explicate that Jesus has reached the stage of utter powerlessness in the sight of the world. The emptiness of the power is indicated by the lifeless corpse on the cross. The body being broken, the presence of Jesus emanates and hovers over every being. Going beyond the land of Palestine, the presence of Jesus extends to very nook and corner of the spheres and spaces and transcends time, Jesus enters into timelessness, eternity.

Sharing in the Resurrection of Jesus and to live in His resurrected presence is to become powerless to the extent of God making us powerful to live beyond our body, space and time. Going out of our body and entering into the emptiness, sufferings, misery, pain, torture and death of others, we dispose ourselves to God to make our powerlessness into powerfulness-powerful enough to bring life to others. Breaking the barrier of space, we become open for a wider community, which will embrace everyone. The poor, the sick, the unrecognized, the disfigured and the impure are all embraced into one human family of God.

As we continue our journey with the resurrected Jesus, we pray and wish that the Easter wind may blow away all barriers and to serve all people, especially the poor, the weak, the vulnerable. Our beloved, newly elected Holy Father Francis, during his homily with the Cardinal electors, rightly pointed out three movements of the Church:

  1. Journeying
  2. Building
  3. Professing

May the Lord grant to all, throughout our life, the joys of the Easter Alleluia!

Fr. Soosai Rathinam, SdC