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Bear Witness to Jesus with Love and Courage

"This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad” (Psalm 118:24).

My Dear Brothers, Sisters and Children,

Spring has brought Easter lilies to life, Easter egg is prepared with hope, church bells and choirs sing ‘Alleluia’ in joyful notes. Every Christian is ready to witness to Jesus with love and courage to the world in the face of terrorism, consumerism and materialism. Cry out to the world, “Christ is risen, indeed He is risen!”

There is a story told about Nikolai Ivanovich Bukharin, a Russian communist leader, who took a journey from Moscow to Kiev in 1930 to address a huge assembly of Communists. The subject was atheism. Addressing the crowd, he attacked Christianity, hurling insults and arguments against it. When he had finished, he looked out at the audience. "Are there any questions?", he demanded. Deafening silence fell on the auditorium, but then one man slowly approached the platform and mounted the podium. After surveying the crowd, he shouted the ancient greeting of the Russian Orthodox Church: "CHRIST IS RISEN!" The crowd stood up and shouted in a thunderous voice: "HE IS RISEN INDEED!" Amazed and dejected, Bukharin left the stage in silence. Perhaps he had learned the lesson that faith in Christ’s resurrection was deeply rooted in his Russian Orthodox Communist followers.

Our faith is founded on the belief in the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. This faith in Jesus made the Coptic Catholics in Syria to stand firm in the face of death and cry aloud the name of Jesus and offer their lives to Him while the terrorists cut their throats. Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die". (Jn. 11:25-26). In the gospel of Matthew (Mt: 16:21, 17:22-23, 20:18-19) Jesus himself predicted his suffering, death and resurrection. Jesus told the people, "Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up". (Jn. 2:19) These scriptural passages are the foundation of our belief in the resurrection of Jesus and that should make us live for Him and witness to Him in the present world.

St. Paul (1 Cor. 15: 14-20) explains in detail the importance of the resurrection of Christ. Some in Corinth did not believe in the resurrection of the dead, and in this chapter Paul gives six disastrous consequences if Christ had not risen from the dead. 1) preaching Christ would be senseless (v. 14), 2) faith in Christ would be useless (v. 14), 3) all the witnesses and preachers of the Gospel would be liars (v. 15), 4) no one would be redeemed from sin (v. 17), 5) all former believers would have perished (v.18), and 6) Christians would be the most pitiable people on the Earth (v. 19). But Christ indeed has risen from the dead and “has become the first-fruits of those who have fallen asleep” (v. 20) assuring that we will follow Him in our resurrection.

Through the resurrection of Jesus darkness of this world is turned into light, sin and death are defeated, sin and suffering find healing and comfort, the world finds joy, hope, love and forgiveness in His words. So let us accept the grace of Christ’s resurrection. Let us be renewed by God’s mercy and love. Let us enable the power of his love to transform our lives and become agents of his mercy, channels through which God can water the earth, protect all creation and make justice and peace flourish.

"Let the risen Jesus enter your life, welcome him as a friend, with trust: he is life! If up till now you have kept him at a distance, step forward. He will receive you with open arms. If you have been indifferent, take the risk of surrendering yourself to Jesus: you won’t be disappointed. If following him seems difficult, don’t be afraid, trust him, be confident that he is close to you, he is with you and he will give you the peace you are looking for and the strength to live as he would have you do".(Pope Francis)

May the Risen Lord embrace you with His Joy, Peace and Love.

Christ is risen! Indeed he is risen! Alleluia!

I wish you all Happy and Hope- filled Easter.

Yours in Christ,

Fr. Mathew Elayadathamadam,msfs

Mar George Alencherry was born on 19th April 1945 in the parish of Thuruthy in the archdiocese of Changancherry as the sixth child of the ten children of Mr. Philipose and Mary Alencherry of whom two others are priests (Fr. Jose Alencherry and Fr. Francis Alencherry, SDB) and one, a religious sister (Sr. Cherupushpam, S.A.B.S.). Geevarghese is his baptismal name. Mar George Alencherry had his primary schooling at St Mary’s School, Thuruthy and secondary education at St Berchman’s High School, Changanacherry read more...

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