MANILA, April 11, 2015—One of the country’s leading churchmen has observed how some of the words the Risen Christ spoke when He appeared to various people seem to be addressed to Filipinos in their present situation, inviting each one to listen to what the Jesus wants to impart to them.
“To the disciples gathered in a room, He asked, ‘Why are you frightened and why do doubts arise in your hearts?’ (Luke 24:38). To a troubled Mary Magdalene he said, ‘Why are you weeping? Who are you looking for?’ (John 20:15),” says Manila Archbishop Luís Antonio G. Cardinal Tagle in the recent Easter message to the Filipino faithful.
He points out the Risen Lord offers the same questions to them, especially in times of fear, doubts, distrust and grieving, enabling them to reflect, explore, and find meaning.
According to him, outbursts of panic, phobia, worry and sorrow need the calming influence of reflection and meditation given that the Resurrected Christ asks questions that make them pause and look into the reasons (or lack of reason) for their terror and anxiety.
Tagle recalls how Jesus asked those disciples still unable to believe that He was indeed alive and standing before them if they had anything to eat (Luke 24:41), adding that the glorious Lord comes to the faithful through their humble, simple, poor and suffering brothers and sisters.
Lord of the lowly
He stresses that even while possessing all authority and power, the Lord deems it worthy to reside among the lowly, those who lack basic necessities of life, calls on all not to let worries and cynicism to blind them to the needs of the poor.
“Let us behold the Risen Jesus in every needy person and see a neighbor, a brother or sister,” he says.
Tagle explains the annual commemoration of Jesus’ resurrection and glorification gives believers a glimpse of the eternal life that He, who became human, now possesses a life that will not be touched by sin, destruction, and death again.
Hope, glory of Easter
“His risen life is our hope, the pledge of our future glory,” he declares.
The prelate underscores that Jesus’ resurrection does not cut the faithful off neither from their earthly life nor from their concerns, saying they cannot afford to ignore and be indifferent to the world.
Missionaries of peace
“Rather the light from Jesus’ resurrection makes us see more clearly the truth about our complex human condition while urging us on towards a glorious future,” notes Tagle.
“I pray that this Easter we may promptly respond to the Risen Lord’s greeting, ‘Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, so I send you.’ (John 20:21). Let us go to all the corners of our country as missionaries of peace,” he adds. (Raymond A. Sebastián/CBCP News)