Easter Sunday is not only the greatest feast of the Church’s liturgical year, but it carries as well the greatest lesson any man can learn about truth. You can put truth in a grave, but truth will come out.
You can nail it on a cross, it will come off it. You may wrap it in winding sheets and shut it up in a tomb but truth will rise. And as we say: Ukuri guca muziko ntigushya (Truth passes into fire and does not burn)
When Jesus died so tragically on a cross, the devil declared its victory with a self congratulatory message. But it was too early: What the devil did not know is that death could not mark the end of Jesus.
It was just a beginning of another life for Christ The Risen Lord. Jesus had said he would rise from the dead, and so he did.
According to the Gospels (Lk. 24:1-12 and Jn. 20:1-9), when the sorrowful and courageous women went to the tomb of Jesus in order to finish the funeral service by anointing his body with spices according to their culture, the turning of the event was too good to be true.
The stone which covered the tomb had been removed. The tomb itself was empty. And the body of their friend and teacher was nowhere to be seen.
As they continued to scratch their heads, two men in white, described as angels, approached and asked them : “why are you looking for the living among the dead?”
As this started ringing a bell in their memory the men went on: “he is not here – he is risen!” As the women looked so surprised, they were reminded that Jesus had predicted this with precision.
They remembered Jesus’ words and they did as they were asked; to go and tell the good news to the Eleven, and to all the rest. In a nut shell that was the celebration of the first Easter.
As we celebrate Easter this year, we may ask ourselves how this joy still affects the contemporary man with all his problems.
Some are struggling with the consequences of natural calamity like floods and earth quakes, others are struggling with sad memories of genocide, some are in middle of endless wars and others are facing unbearable life in refugee camps all over the world. Is the celebration of Easter joy still possible in such conditions?
It is exactly in the suffering situation that Jesus opened a window of divine surprise and hope for all people in their different situation.
Because Jesus rose from the dead, man can now contemplate on eternity as well as his personal immortality. He wants us to be with him in the Kingdom of heaven.
And this gives meaning to our prayers for the departed, when we ask Jesus to receive them where he is. The Easter event tells us where he is: “why are you looking for the living among the dead?” “he is not here – he is risen!”
And with these words the Church reminds us the seriousness of God’s words and his promises which must come true.
In our concrete situation therefore, the joyful news of Easter may not change the contemporary world dramatically.
But it surely provokes every living person within his or her living conditions. Jesus has done all that is required to save man, what is remaining is man’s individual willingness to cooperate.
That is by believing in him and putting his teaching in practice in our daily life. In brief, the Easter celebrations remind us of our responsibility as God’s witness in the world as we lead a Christian style of life.