Wish you the joy of Easter, the assurance from God that Jesus’ manner of living and loving is the way, the truth and the Life (Jn 14:6). Every night ushers us to the dawn, every winter leads to a blossoming spring, and every sorrow prompts the best in us to blossom. It seems, God has implanted the Pasqual mystery in the unfolding of all creation, and its full unveiling is in the passion, death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus.
We, Claretian Missionaries, have also sipped from the cup of suffering of humanity and the crucifixion of the Lord in our times in the last year. Our brothers shared the agony of the people in the wounded socio-political turmoil of Nicaragua, Venezuela, Cameroun and Nigeria. Some of our brothers suffered torture and abduction recently. Last year in the Easter season, there was a killing of 19 people including two priests during the Eucharistic celebration in the diocese of Makurdi pastored by Mons. Wilfred Anagbe CMF. Natural disasters of flood and typhoon ravaged some missions. We had the sad realization of the suffering of minors who endured sexual abuse by a few of our confreres in the past decades. There are also personal agonies and sufferings of each of us and the people we love due to physical, mental and spiritual infirmities. Without the light of resurrection, our suffering takes us to a pit of despair. The presence of the Risen Christ transforms our suffering into moments of grace, growth and joy. The best proof of Christian faith in how we embrace our own cross and follow Christ (Cf. Mt 16:24).
I have discovered that with the Risen Christ, the crosses in our life open up to new possibilities. Without Christ, suffering breeds resentment, rejection and self-victimization. It unleashes the dynamics of flight or fight and aggravates human misery. With Christ at the centre, we can accept trials and tribulations in faith, remove their fatal sting by forgiveness, and discover our true identity in God. Easter Keeps proclaiming the redeeming message of the Gospel: Christ is Risen, Love is alive!
Let us radiate the joy of the Risen Lord in our life and mission!
Mathew Vattamattam CMF