EASTER IS THE VICTORY OF LOVE
Easter Meditation for 2011
Love is stronger than death! The greatest is love! The greatest one is the one who loves the most!
We have been meditating on his passion since the start of Holy Week but what use is meditation if it does not increase our love? We have devoutly gone through the Via Crucis but what good is prayer if we remain uncaring? We have fasted and sacrificed but what use is sacrifice if it does make us more merciful? We have kept vigil and stayed awake to await the Easter message but what use is Easter joy if we do not share it and give it away? We can only win over death if we love. Easter is the true feast of love. Only through love can we rise from death and overcome the darkness.
Love is a verb. Love calls for action. Easter must move us to action. Easter is surely a feast to celebrate but it is equally a mission to accomplish. The risen Lord sends us forth back to Galilee where he preached and healed and proclaimed the kingdom of the Father—there we must prove that he has indeed risen from the dead not by wise argumentations but showing that our lives have been changed by Jesus Christ. The world outside our parish churches will not believe that Christ has risen if our lives do not show any signs of new life at all.
Many filled up our churches during Holy Week and many more fill up our churches today Easter Sunday. But among those who valiantly fasted and offered mortifications during these pious days, how many really poured love into our suffering world and made our world a little better than when we began our Lenten exercises? Is our world better than forty days ago? The victory of Easter is the victory of the Greatest Lover of all who died that we may have fullness of life. We who are an Easter people must pour love into our bleeding world, bind the wounds of our society and bring it back to life—through love.
If indeed we are people ready to love, we must make our Easter Sunday an occasion to bring an end to cold indifference—walang pakialam! Love cares. Love gets involved. Love reaches out. The risen Lord pricks us to get involved in politics and make it a liberating not a corrupting kind of politics. The risen Lord urges us to bring Christian ethics to economics and put charity not profit as its overriding principle. The risen Lord sends us on a mission back to Galilee to restore all things to him. Easter people: spread the values of Christ!
If love has indeed fully possessed us, then we must break out of our protective shells of our insensitivity and heartlessness—walang pakiramdam. Love takes responsibility. Love is rich in mercy. Love is kind. We cannot continue with Easter and continue to ignore the poor. It is not hard to meet the poor if we are not playing blind to their presence. We cannot claim to be an Easter people and yet not do anything about the silent moans of aborted babies. We cannot sing Alleluia and remain insensitive to rising criminality, the commercialization of sex and the unabated availability of shabu in the neighborhood. Easter people: act now!
If we are truly an Easter people and love is our rule of life, we must destroy callousness and audacity—walang hiya. Contraception is corruption of love and life. It is not a solution. It will only open more problems for the soul of our nation. Sin is abnormal. Obedience to the Ten Commandments is normal. Let us not extol impurity and ridicule virtue. Polluting the minds of children by teaching them sex without God cries to heaven for divine justice. Easter people: stand up for life!
Love is a verb not a noun. Easter is a mission not just an event. We can only share in the glory of this greatest of all days by making love reign supreme.
Goodbye indifference and apathy.
Goodbye insensitivity and heartlessness.
Goodbye callousness and audacity.
Let us live in love, for love and with love. Let us love. Easter is a feast of love and only those who love will see the glory of the Risen Christ!
From the Cathedral of Saint John the Evangelist, Dagupan City, April 23, 2011
+SOCRATES B. VILLEGAS
Archbishop of Lingayen Dagupan
The Roman Catholic
Archdiocese of Lingayen-Dagupan
(Central Pangasinan, Philippines)