“Christ the Lord is risen again!
He now lives, no more to die! Alleluia!”

On Palm Sunday, we hail Jesus saying: “Hosanna! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord – the king of Israel”. (Jn 12: 13)

On Good Friday, we shout: “Crucify him!, Crucify him!” (Jn 19: 6)

And on Easter day we sing: “Alleluia!”

Within a week, we utter different slogans – Blessings, accusations and praises of the same person – Jesus, the only Son of God.

Therefore St.James rightly says in his letter: “With tongue we bless the Lord and Father, and with it we curse those who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing.” (James 3, 9 – 10)

Jesus had to die on the cross because of our sins. But why should he rise again? He was betrayed and denied by his own; he was abandoned, slashed, spat on his face, ridiculed, stripped of his garments and was left naked to die on the cross, given bitter vinegar to drink, pierced with lance, ………….. for none of his iniquities but of ours. Despite all these horrific torments, why should he rise and dwell among us again? I find it hard to understand this mysterious love of God, because I find it hard to reconcile with my fellow sisters and brothers for meagre cause of pain or abuse against me in my day to day life. So I am left in awe and to believe this way of God’s unconditional love for the unfaithful and unkind humanity. No human intellect and reason can explain this tremendous merciful love of God.

For God Himself says, “You have burdened me with your sins; you have wearied me with your iniquities. I am He who blots out your transgressions for my own sake and I will not remember your sins.” (Is 43, 24 – 25)

“For a brief moment I abandoned you but with great compassion I will gather you. In overflowing wrath for a moment I hid my face from you, but with everlasting love I will have compassion on you.” (Is 54, 7 – 8)

YES! God’s compassion and love for us is everlasting. The Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark and Luke), in the narration of Jesus’ resurrection depict: “He is not here, for he has been raised”. (Mt 28:6, Mk 16:6 & Lk 24:6)

Are we looking for Jesus still among the dead? Probably, we are not able to experience the living Jesus in our lives sometimes because we are looking for him in our deadliness. Our hearts are greedy and selfish.

When we encounter Jesus in the adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and in the celebration of the holy Eucharist, do we experience as Cleopus and his companion on the way to Emmaus: “Our hearts burning within us?”

“Were not our hearts burning within us while he was talking to us on the road, while he was opening the scriptures to us?” (Lk 24: 32)

Yes sisters! We need to believe that God is with us to the end of the age. “Remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” ( Mt 28: 20b.) No one knows exactly when the age began and when it will end. But we need to just believe that God is always with us, for he is Emmanuel – the God with us!

- Sister Shobha, March 2018