Alleluia, our song of praise to the Risen Lord Jesus Christ who is our life and whose triumph over death we proclaim to the whole world.  The Lord has risen indeed, alleluia.  Glory and kingship be his forever and ever.

We rejoice together with the Psalmist as we say, “This day was made by the Lord; we rejoice and are glad.”  Ps 117 – “Give thanks to the Lord for he is good, for his love has no end.  Let the sons of Israel say, His love has no end.  The Lord’s right hand has triumphed; his right hand raised me up.  I shall not die, I shall live and recount his deeds.  The stone which the builders rejected has become the corner stone.  This is the work of the Lord, a marvel in our eyes.”  Alleluia.

The Lord has risen, he invites us to go in to the empty tomb and see, to experience his love.  He could have left easily but the stone was rolled away, the entrance opened so that we could get in and see for ourselves the glory of the Risen Lord.

Can we comprehend this amazing scenario?  Let us reflect on these 4 stages of our belief:  (1) We could imagine that the story could be a fabrication, impossible to believe (Jn 20:2 – “They have taken the Lord from the tomb, and we don’t know where they put him.”  (2) Like Peter, we may want to check out the facts because we are puzzled about what has happen (Jn 20:6 – he ran to the tomb to see for himself).  (3) Accepting the fact of the resurrection only after they had an encounter with Jesus (Jn 20:16 – Mary has an encounter with the Risen Lord) and (4) Committing themselves into devoting their lives to serving him (Jn 20:28 – Thomas proclaiming ‘My Lord and my God).

The glorious resurrection of our Lord is the key to our faith.  Without his victory over death, says St Paul, all peaching would be useless and our faith in vain (1 Cor 15:14-17 “If Christ has not been raised, then empty (too) is our preaching; empty, too, your faith.  Then we are also false witnesses to God, because we testified against God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if in fact the dead are not raised.  For if the dead are not raised, neither has Christ been raised, and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is vain; you are still in your sins.”  Easter is the celebration of our Redemption, the celebration of thanksgiving and joy.

The resurrection of our Lord is the central reality of our Christian faith and the Apostles are witnesses of this.  They are the first to announce to the whole world that Jesus Christ lives.  This is the truth that fills our lives with meaning.  Jesus triumphed over death; he overcame sorrow, anguish, darkness – in him we find solace – outside of him life is empty.

Easter Vigil (Holy Saturday) begins with total darkness in and out of the church, the profound darkness in which humanity was plunged into without Christ.  Then, the celebrant proclaims the great and wonderful news: May the light of Christ, rising in glory, dispel the darkness of our hearts and minds.  And the Easter candle is lighted, the dark is illuminated with the light.  The resurrection of Christ is a powerful call for us to be the light and to share this light with those still living in darkness.  St Paul gave a motto to the Christians at Ephesus: ‘Instaurare omnia in Christo’ (Eph 1:10 – he would bring everything together under Christ, as head, everything in the heavens and everything on earth). ‘Si exaltatus fuero a terra, omnia traham ad meipsum’ (when I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw all things to myself).  Through his Incarnation, through his 3 years of work, his peaching, miracles, his death and resurrection, Christ is the centre of it all.  Our task as believers is to rejoice and share this joy with others, announcing it through what we say and do. Let us rejoice together with the Psalmist as we say “This day was made by the Lord; we rejoice and are glad.  We give thanks to the Lord for he is good.  He has triumphed.  His right hand raised me up.  I shall not die, I shall live and RECOUNT HIS DEEDS. Alleluia.

We have journeyed through Lent, we have journeyed through passion week and Good Friday, are we now joyful people?  Will we bring this joy to our home, our work place, our friends who are still in darkness?  Mary of Magdala went running to Peter and all the other disciples to tell them of what she had seen.  Are we going to be like Mary of Magdala or are we going to keep this immense love of God to ourselves.  Are we ready to proclaim “The Lord my God has risen from the dead, he is my light, he is my salvation!”.  Will we bring this joy to others?  Bringing joy to others is the best example of charity to those around us.  Joy is an enormous help in the apostolate.  It leads us to give Christ’s message in a cheerful and positive way.  St. Thomas Aquinas says that everyone who wants to progress in the spiritual life needs to have joy.  Has the resurrection of our Lord made us people of joy?


Joyous Praise

By Margie Choo