Saturday, March 22, 2008

Easter Message 2008

GOOD Friday and Easter Sunday are inseparable!

The Easter Message reveals the truth of the fertility, fecundity, fruitfulness of the Cross. Hope, fertility and suffering go together. If on Good Friday we let God enter into our suffering, on Easter Sunday, we let God “easter in us.” The resurrection of Jesus cannot be separated from his Public Life and Death; otherwise we will fail to understand both.

Today, the living witnesses of the truth of Christ’s resurrection must be ourselves, shown in the qualities of commitment and hope displayed in our Christian lives. Where Christians follow the footsteps of Jesus in alleviating from whatever pain and suffering they have, in loving as Jesus loves, there will be no crisis of resurrection faith. But where involvement in the suffering of people, where love is lacking, it is difficult to think that Jesus resurrected, almost hypocritical to celebrate the truth of Easter.

To celebrate Easter is for us to become carriers of the mystery of Easter, living and present in us, transforming our world with the life of the Resurrected Christ.

Archbishop of Jaro
CBCP President

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Holy Week Message 2008

The message of Holy Week for all the world is not only that Christ suffered and died for us, but that he also rose from the dead for us. We remember the past, what the Lord has done for us; we celebrate it in the present; and we believe.

Even on Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday, the mystery of Christ’s Passion and Death is already enveloped by the glorious mystery of Christ’s Resurrection and Ascension into Heaven. It means that as in Christ’s life, neither suffering of any kind nor death has the last word in our life. The message of Holy Week, therefore, is that Christ will rise again, in your life, in my life, in fact Jesus is risen and we will rise to life with him.

The message too is a battle-cry. And so we say “I believe I shall rise again … from my mistakes, from my sinfulness, from my failures, from my tomb.” I invite you then to enter into the spirit of Holy Week prayerfully, reflectively, remembering that that our life is not all work, and making only a living … but it is made up also of life in the spirit … remembering that whatever we do must be focused on God, the God who reveals himself as suffering and dying in Jesus Christ on the Cross … and also as suffering with the many sufferers of the world. We have a God who suffers for us and with us.

I invite you also to participate in the worship and ceremonies that will be held in our Parish Churches: the Washing of the Feet on Holy Thursday, the Veneration of the Cross on Good Friday, Midnight Mass on Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday. This is the most Holy Week of the entire year, because we remember how dearly God has loved us, by dying for us. The way we can show our appreciation for this love is by turning away from our mistakes and sins, by stopping from crucifying other people, and above all by becoming the reason for the resurrection of others to new and better lives.

Archbisho of Jaro
CBCP President