Luke 24:5b “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen.”
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Greetings in the wonderful name of Jesus Christ, our Risen Lord and Saviour!
At this glorious Easter time, life is indeed the key word as we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ and his victory over death and the grave. Watchman Nee reminds us, “Our old history ends with the cross; our new history begins with the resurrection.”
The writer of Luke’s gospel tells that the women’s group consisting of Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James and others, went to the tomb on the morning after their Jewish Sabbath, in order to carry out the last acts of love to their dearly departed, and at the same time use the spices to embalm the dead body of Jesus. To their surprise, they saw that the large stone at the entrance of the tomb had already been rolled away, and on entering, no body of Jesus was found. Afterwards, two unknown persons told them that Jesus was not there but had risen; and they reminded the women of what Jesus had previously told them about himself. Jesus’ earthly ministry was punctuated by spectacular miracles, but nothing compared to the miracle of his glorious resurrection on the first Easter morning. In fact, ever since, endless numbers of persons have experienced a revolutionary change in their lives because of the risen Lord Jesus. It meant that they experienced a new history. Theologian Paul Althus said, “The resurrection proclamation could not have been maintained in Jerusalem for a single day, for a single hour, if the emptiness of the tomb had not been established as a fact.” The resurrected Jesus is not a figure in a book or a memory. He is a living presence, for the Christian life is not a matter of knowing about Jesus, but knowing him. Because Jesus is alive, the experience of faith coming alive is real.
For us residing in this homeland of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Easter 2022 is occurring in the current season of a widespread renewal of the landscape from the ravages caused by the eruption of La Soufriere in April 2021. At the same time though, there are some persons who still don’t have a house of their own and so have not been able to return home. Furthermore, because of unemployment or hardships of one kind or another, some have not yet returned to their regular means of income. We must be very concerned for these our brothers and sisters, for their livelihood is still a challenge.We therefore ought to continue helping themprayerfully, generously and joyfully wherever necessary.
Additionally, the substantial reduction in COVID-19 infections, has enabled our government to remove the gathering restrictions thereby permitting our worship experiences to be more populous. It is vital that we, the Church, hasten to join the government in reminding all residents of St. Vincent and the Grenadines that the COVID-19 pandemic is still raging worldwide and we should continue to heedthe protocols of wearing a face mask, social distancing, sanitising, and vaccination.
The two foregoing realities have certainly reinvigorated us and our psyche has been buoyed by a lessening of the tensions and resulting mental anguish, thereby causing many to be happier and more relaxed while embracing theopportunities for our thanksgiving and interactions. At the same time, those realities have raised two questions for our consideration.
First, are we wholeheartedly giving thanks to Almighty God for his grace and mercy towards us over the past months? God’s love is unconditional and we ought to yield ourselves to him, as we come to grips with the awareness that we are helpless outside of him, and thatinspite of us being sinful and rebellious, God loves us with an everlasting love. As we become grateful, and sincerely and wholeheartedly give thanks to God, our lives are transformed, and we become rejoicing people even in adversity.
Second, do we intend to live harmoniously with all persons? The uncontrollable volcano’s eruption and global spread of COVID-19 infections, ought to have reminded us of the frailty of human life and our helplessness apart from God. Let us therefore reset our lives and continuously worship God the Almighty and Eternal one, and Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord, so that our lives will be filled with love, peace, joy and hope. Let us avoid the rat race of striving for mere material acquisitions that leave us stressed, angry and insensitive to the needs of others.
So then brothers and sisters, in this season of new life, we plead for love, hospitality, generosity, compassion, and a renewed embrace of community, to foster intensified goodwill and harmony. Also, in this season of Jesus’ resurrection, let us hail the power of good over evil and avail ourselves with the glorious opportunity for spiritual connection with God in Jesus Christ, therebymotivating us to commit to living faithfully and wholesomely. May our present and future reflect the power of God, the grace of Jesus Christ, and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.
A Very Happy and Holy Easter to every man, woman, boy and girl!
Bishop Gerard County, Roman Catholic Church
Bishop C. Leopold Friday, Anglican Church
Rev’d. Philbert S. Delaney, Methodist Church
Major Ernest Gachelin, Salvation Army
April 7, 2022