Looking at the Cross and believing in eternal life can fortify us day to day in these trying times.
For more than 15 years I worked as a scriptwriter at the Philippine office of Family Rosary Crusade, a worldwide organization founded by Irish priest Father Patrick Peyton.
Peyton is famous for promoting the slogan, “The family that prays together stays together” and “A world at prayer is a world at peace.”
Our work consisted of producing television programs aired on ABS-CBN and other TV networks that highlighted the relevance of family prayer, especially the rosary.
We also covered events of the Philippine Catholic Church. Every year, while reading statements and messages by church leaders and quoting them, I would tell my officemates, in a loud voice, “Guys, remember, Easter is the most important feast in the Christian calendar, even more important than Christmas.”
The Filipino term for Easter captures its essence: “Pasko ng Pagkabuhay.”
“Pagkabuhay” is such a beautiful word which means “coming to life,” or the more specific “back to life” — rising from the dead.
The Resurrection of Jesus defines the Christian faith and what makes it different from other religions. It is the pivotal part of the Apostles’ Creed: “On the third day he rose again…” It is what believers look forward to: eternal life or one’s soul reuniting with God.
The doctrine of Easter is central to our life as Christians. My idol, St. Paul the Apostle, wrote in his book of letters:
“For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either.” (1 Corinthians 15:16)
Paul says that death has been swallowed up in victory (1 Corinthians 15:54). Jesus’ resurrection has opened up the possibility of eternal life after death.
‘Don’t be afraid’
In 2020, Pope Francis addressed his general audience at the Library of the Apostolic Palace in the Vatican:
“In these weeks of apprehension about the pandemic that is causing the world to suffer so much, among the many questions we ask ourselves, there may also be one about God: What does he do before our pain? Where is he when everything is going wrong? Why doesn’t he solve the problems immediately? These are questions we ask about God…
“In these days, all quarantined and at home, closed in, let us take these two things in our hands: the Crucifix, let’s look at it; and open the Gospel. This will be for us — let’s say — like a great domestic liturgy, because these days we cannot go to church. The Crucifix and the Gospel!
“And this is not an illusion, because the death and resurrection of Jesus is not an illusion: It is a truth! That’s why we’re told on Easter morning, “Don’t be afraid!” (cf. Mt 28:5). And the distressing questions about evil do not suddenly fade away, but find in the Risen One a solid foundation that allows us not to go down with the ship.”
As Covid-19 cases pile up and there seems to be no relief in sight, looking at the Cross and believing in eternal life should fortify us day to day.
Credit belongs to : www.tribune.net.ph