Dear Friends in Jesus Christ…,
Alleluia! He is risen as He said, Alleluia! We are so accustomed to hearing of Jesus risen from the dead that we could say, “Oh yeah…we know all about it and we hear of it every year.” I tell you today that this Easter Sunday is not an anniversary of that first Easter morning. Nor, is this Easter a memorial – a remembrance of that first Easter Sunday morning. Today is Easter. Today is the Day the Lord has made. Today, He is Risen. Pay attention dear friends to those present tense words Today is Easter – This is the Day. They need to be heard by us. We are not recalling what happened to Jesus, nor the events of the first Easter. We are not spectators watching the reactions of the three disciples – Mary Magdalene, Peter and John. Rather, this Easter Sunday is our sharing in the triumph and victory of God. As the Jesuit poet Gerard Manley Hopkins wrote, “Let Him Easter in us.” Let that victory and triumph touch our lives. Christ, our Hope, is Risen, Alleluia! Let Him Easter in us. Let Easter bring new life to all of us despite whatever catastrophe we may face in the world or in our own personal situations. Let Him Easter in Us. Let this Easter celebration break open our tombs of fear, sin, worries, difficulties, problems, and fill us with Hope – with life. Let Christ Easter in YOU TODAY! Think about it, Jesus rose from the dead! Death is not the end. It is only the door to beyond. Easter is the greatest celebration of the Church. Jesus’ resurrection reminds us that there is life beyond the grave. St. Paul teaches us “For us, our homeland is in heaven, and from heaven comes the Savior we are waiting for, the Lord Jesus Christ, and he will transfigure these wretched bodies of ours into copies of his glorious body.” (Phil 3:20-21)
On this Easter day, I would like to share with you a story about a king who had four wives. The king loved his fourth wife the most and adorned her with riches. He also loved his third wife and was always showing her off to neighboring kingdoms. However, he always feared that she would leave him. His second wife was kind and considerate and his trusted confidante and advisor in difficult times. Wife number one was devoted and loyal and although she loved him deeply, he was not as interested and tended to ignore her. One day, the king fell ill and the truth dawned that his life was soon to end. He thought of the luxurious life he had led and feared being alone when he died. He asked his fourth wife, “I have loved you the most, endowed you with the finest clothing, showered gifts upon you and taken great care over you. Now that I’m dying, will you follow me and keep me company?” “No way!” she replied and walked away without another word. The sad king then asked the third wife, “I have loved you all my life. Now that I’m dying, will you follow me and keep me company?” “No!” she replied. “Life is too good! When you die, I’m going to remarry!” He then asked the second wife, “I have always turned to you for help and you’ve always been there for me. When I die, will you follow me and keep me company?” “I’m sorry, I can’t help you out this time!” she replied. “At the very most, I can help with your funeral.” Then a voice called out to the king in his sadness: “I’ll leave with you and follow you no matter where you go.” The king looked up and there was his first wife. She was so skinny and undernourished. Greatly grieved, the king said, “I should have taken much better care of you when I had the chance!” In truth, we all have four wives in our lives. Our fourth wife is our body. No matter how much time and effort we lavish in making it look good, it’ll leave us when we die. It’ll be burnt, buried or chopped up for the vultures and wolves or feed the worms. Our third wife is our possessions, status and wealth. When we die, it will all go to others. It will be divided up. Our second wife is our family and friends. No matter how much they have supported and loved us, the furthest they can stay by us is up to the burial site. Our first wife is our Soul, often neglected in pursuit of wealth, power and pleasures of the ego. However, our soul is the only thing that will follow us wherever we go.
Care for your body and keep it healthy so you can live life to its fullest. Enjoy your possessions, the pleasure and the comfort they provide. Cherish your friends and family and the love they provide. But don’t forget to nourish your soul as it is the source of all your life and will prove to be your most faithful friend.
What is the purpose of life? What is your goal in life? Where is your heart in life? Life has only one ultimate goal, to prepare for the next life, and if you are not preparing for your own resurrection you are like a train that has become derailed. What happens to a train that gets derailed? It goes nowhere. Can you take your house to heaven with you? Then why make such a fuss about your house? Can you take your car to heaven with you? Well then, why become so engrossed in your car? Can you take your bank account to heaven with you? Use your money for the spread of God’s love. Why are you so busy that you have no time to pray to God every day? It is God you want to meet in the next life, isn’t it? I cannot understand anyone who says they believe in God but do not pray every day. It is a contradiction to say that you believe in God, but do not pray.
Let the Risen Jesus enter your life. Welcome him as a friend, with trust: He is Life! If up till now you have kept him at a distance, step forward. He will receive you with open arms. If you have been indifferent, take a risk: you won’t be disappointed. If following him seems difficult, don’t be afraid, trust him, be confident that he is close to you, he is with you and he will give you the peace you are looking for and the strength to live as he would have you do. He will be with you in the Resurrection!
God Bless You,