Easter: The Invincibility of Life

Author: Br. Ripon James Gomes, C.S.C.

“Easter is a time when God turned the inevitability of death into the invincibility of life.” - Craig D. Lounsbrough.

Renewal of Baptismal Promises at the Easter Vigil at Sacred Heart Church

After forty Lenten days of self-sacrifice, prayer, fasting, and almsgiving, we prepared ourselves to die spiritually with Christ on Good Friday, the day of Jesus Crucifixion, so that we can rise again with Him in new life on Easter. The Church gives us fifty days to celebrate Jesus Christ's conquest over death. His Resurrection represents the eternal life that is granted to all who believe in Him.

In other words, Easter symbolizes the complete confirmation of all that Jesus preached and taught during His ministry. Here we can say that if Jesus had not risen from the dead, if He had merely died and not been resurrected, He would have been considered just another teacher or Rabbi. But Jesus’ Resurrection changed all that and gave final and certain proof that He was truly the Son of God and conquered death for all of us. That is why the Church celebrates Easter as its greatest feast.

For me Easter represents the fulfillment of our faith as Christians. As St. Paul says, unless Christ rose from the dead, our faith is in vain (1 Cor 15:17). Through Jesus’ death, He protected all human beings from slavery to sin, and His Resurrection gives us the promise of new life, both in this world and the next.

Our new life begins on Easter. In the Lord’s Prayer we pray, "Thy Kingdom come, on earth as it is in Heaven." I believe that through the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, God's Kingdom is recognized on earth, in the form of the Church.

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The Dawning of Light

So, Easter is the time to say- Alleluia! All glory, praise and honor to You, Most Glorious Lord Jesus! You have risen from the grave, you have conquered sin and death, and you have opened the gates to Heaven! Alleluia! All praise and honor to You Most Glorious Lord Jesus! Alleluia!

At same time Easter invites us to pray that our hope be restored and our joy strengthend, as we come to enounter the Risen Lord in our own lives. We pray that his victory may be ours, and that each day we may grow in our faith in his Resurrection. For, with Christ’s Resurrection from the dead, He became the cause and principle of the resurrection of all men. According to the words of St. Paul, "As in Adam all die, so also in Christ all (who hold to the faith) shall be made alive" (1 Cor 25:22).

Our Lord Jesus Christ after His death and Resurrection still retained in His body the marks of His sufferings, as we gather from the words to St. Thomas: “Put your finger here and see my hands, and bring your hand and put it into my side, and do not be unbelieving, but believe” (John 20:27). These marks will remain to show that Jesus rose again for us, and as signs of His victory and triumph over sin and the devil and death.

Crucifix at Easter 300x

I want to conclude my reflection as our Holy Cross Constitution says, “Resurrection for us is a daily event. We have stood watch with persons dying in peace; we have witnessed wonderful reconciliations; we have known the forgiveness of those who misuse their neighbor; we have seen heartbreak and defeat lead to a transformed life; we have heard the conscience of an entire church stir; we have marveled at the insurrection of justice. We know that we walk by Easter’s first light, and it makes us long for its fullness" (8:119).

This reflection for Easter comes from Br. Ripon James Gomes, C.S.C., who is from the St. Joseph Province in Bangladesh. He currently is serving in Rome as the Third General Assistant.