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The Joy of Easter
SPECIAL EASTER MESSAGE
FOR THE MANILA BULLETIN
by former President Fidel V. Ramos
THE JOY OF EASTER
In Jesus' time, Easter came when the world was wallowing in poverty and spiritual emptiness. It was a time when people moved about aimlessly, not knowing where to turn. It was such a precarious time, because not even those in the business of public governance could be trusted, nor were equipped with moral wisdom to rule with justice and integrity. They had a religious institution represented by "The Temple," but whose authorities were themselves a class of self-interested and questionable characters.
Nevertheless, Easter came against all odds to prove once and for all that only to God belongs the last word -- something which the powerful did not understand. True enough, the last ones to experience the joy of Easter were the men of power and might. Instead, Jesus appeared to the humble women who were most aggrieved by His death and whose hopes were shattered by the trauma of Good Friday. On Easter morning, however, they were the first to behold the glory of the Resurrection.
No other occasion in the Christian calendar celebrates life in a more profound and meaningful way than Easter. It is the event that dramatizes God's unceasing invitation to eternal life. Thus, Easter is not a monopoly of one particular religion or people. The resurrection of Jesus from the dead is God's profound act of redemption not merely for a chosen few, but for all -- regardless of religious belief, race, gender, social class, or ideology. That explains the ecumenical character of the Easter celebration which affirms that despite our differences on various issues, we have a common source of being in the one God who is the author of all.
As God's children, it is our duty to proclaim Christ as the Lord of life against whom death has no power. As Christians, we are bearers of life in a world that is endangered by its own sinfulness and apostasy. Yes, we can and must proclaim Christ by our life-giving service to others and by our faithful participation in nation-building. To sacrifice for the common good and for the unity of our universal brotherhood is perhaps the most compelling lesson of Easter.
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