Mission Society of the Philippines

Easter 2021

by Fr. Jonathan Germinanda, MSP


EASTER MESSAGE 2021

A JOURNEY OF HOPE ON EASTER

Pope Francis’ message for Lent 2021 began with the scriptural passage, “Behold we are going up to Jerusalem” (Mt. 20:18).  We know fully well what Jerusalem stands for – it is where the fulfillment of Jesus’ mission takes place through His passion, death and resurrection.   The Holy Father’s invitation is for us to take this journey with the Lord as a time for renewing our faith, hope and love. 

Indeed, we have been on this journey of renewal especially since last year when during Lent of 2020, lockdowns were brought upon most of the world because of the COVID-19 pandemic.  More than a year into this crisis, it seemed that for most of us, Lent of 2020 did not end and simply continued into 2021.  Lent this year felt particularly long and dark for many of us when one considers the millions of people who suffered from the virus and the many victims who lost their lives and the families left behind.  All hopeful expectations have been dampened by the continuing surge in infections and deaths, coupled by the recurring lockdowns in the hopes that the infections will be contained.  The world continues to reel into its tragic effects.  No one knows when this will end and how long will many be able to hold on.

It is no wonder that we also have reason to fear for the future.  Because aside from the pandemic, other forms of virus plague us.  There is the rising number of hate crimes because of one’s race, now, particularly towards Asians, the oppression and killings of people who long for democracy and those suspected of rebellion, corruption, poverty and terrorism – all these continue to cause the loss of lives of many people.

We have taken this journey of Lent towards Easter this year with fear and anxiety for the future. Many could not even go to Church because of fear for one’s health and safety.  Yet the enduring message we have been hearing for the past days leading towards this day of the Lord’s Resurrection remains the same: DO NOT LOSE HOPE.   

We celebrate Easter this year full of fear but seeking hope.  Jesus Christ has risen from the dead.  Hope is here.  He has won.  We have won.  Death has been conquered.  The worst of pains and sufferings of life cannot take away the hope of Christ’s life.  If we are united with him, nothing can destroy us.  The Passion of Good Friday we will always remember, but we are not a people of suffering, and torture and death.  We are a people of life and of hope. 

I remember the words from a live musical play, The Passion, which was made for television by a Catholic organization in the Netherlands years ago.  The last scene played out was the Resurrected Jesus singing these words: “Give me your fear and anxiety, I will give you hope in return.”  We are all called to trust in these words.                               

A HOPE-FILLED EASTER TO US ALL!

Fr. Jonathan N. Germinanda, MSP

March 4, 2021

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