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It is Eastertime. The gloom of Good Friday and the reverential silence of Black Saturday are behind us. The church choirs are singing alleluia again. The Easter lilies are with us. The purple and black of last week have been replaced by the gold and white. HAPPY EASTER!

Let us look at this Easter week in context. We find the meaning of Easter only because we took the message of Good Friday seriously. What is Good Friday for us? Did you ever try asking our elders why the day God died on the cross is described as “good”? T. S. Elliot put it very aptly: The bloody wine our only drink, the bloody flesh our only food in spite of this, we call this Friday good.

The Friday on which God died is good not because of the pains and the shame, the humiliation and loneliness that Jesus endured. Pains by themselves are not good. At the end of time, we will be judged according to the amount of energy that we spent easing the pains of others. “Whatsoever you do to the least of your brethren, you do to me,” says Jesus. Last Friday was good not because of the cross and the death of Jesus. It was good because the entire history of mankind has never seen so great a love as when God died on Good Friday. What made last Friday good were not the passion and death of Jesus but the great love and mercy that were shown on that day. It is love that makes days, months and years good. It is love that opens for us the gate to new life in the new beginnings.

This being the case, we are challenged to make every day of the year good. We can have a Good Saturday, Good Sunday and so on but only if we put love into each day of our lives.

It is the intense and admirable love of Good Friday that makes the resurrection the turning point of human history. For a moment, we thought evil won over love. It seemed like sin had taken over goodness. Love resurrected on Easter Sunday. Love lives forever. Those who live in love will never die.

When Christ says that we will live with Him forever, He makes no assurance that our hearts will never stop beating or that our lungs will never stop breathing. When Christ risen from the dead assures us of new life, it is the death due to the absence of love that He refers to. Fr. Villote names three very common deaths that we get accustomed to. The death of being “walang pakialam”, “walang pakiramdam” and being “walang hiya”. We need to be resurrected from our antipathy, our indifference and the numbness of our consciences. These are obstacles to love. These are obstacles to goodness. These are avenues to death.

Love is the soul, the core of our Christian life. It is very easy to love people from a distance. It is easier if people we love are miles away. It is easier for us to love them if loving involves simply offering Masses for them and including them in the prayers of the faithful.

But, if the person you are asked to love is your own spouse, whom you have been sleeping with for the last 30, 50 years, it is a different story. When God asks you to be gentle with your seemingly unruly children, then, you know it is difficult. When God asks you to love the person who always obstructs your promotion in the office, then, you look the other way and look for your time to get even. When God asks you to love an “intrigera” or a “tsismosa”, it is a different story.

It is easier to love people from a distance. It is easier to love people when they are miles away. But, when they are eating with you, when they are sleeping with you, when they rub elbows with you, it is a different story. However, it is possible because all things are possible with God.

Ask yourself. “Do you have a soul in your Christian life?” Meaning to say, do you have enough love to give life to your Christian life? If not, then all liturgy, all cultic worship will be in vain. We, too, can be released from the bondage of a cold heart.

We, too, can keep the fire of love burning. Not just for those who are convenient to love, but most especially for those nearest us, whom we find so difficult to love.

Jesus Our Light

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