No Good Friday lasts forever, there will always be a Resurrection Sunday. That is the hope we carry as Easter people, that not even death could contain the Light of the World.
It is a hope we carry today even as we recognise the many areas of darkness present in our country. Our economy is not doing too well, the level of criminality is still unacceptable, and as political activity increases in anticipation of Local Government Elections, the perennial bogey of racial intolerance rises to confront us again.
Even within the confines of our Universal Church there are those who have broken the sacred trust reposed in them and contributed to the darkness. To dwell here though is to stand guard over an empty tomb, protecting that which we could never fully comprehend, while those who can, seemingly have no inclination to explain.
Jesus’ victory over the grave gives us cause to celebrate the improbable hope that makes believers out of us all. As Catholics, we are called upon, not only today, but always, to be the light penetrating the darkened areas of our culture, our politics, and our society.
We are called to roll away the stones that keep people imprisoned in their xenophobic fears and racist ideologies. We too are challenged in our daily lives to ask of our families, friends and communities “why look among the dead for He who is alive?”
We are duty bound to run to others and proclaim the Good News that Jesus Christ is risen as He said He would, that an empty tomb now concludes Golgotha’s sorrow, and that tomorrow is indeed possible.
The truth is that our celebration of Christ’s Passion, Death and Resurrection, is the celebration of a choice to love and to forgive, a choice to plant seeds of compassion and mercy, a choice to pay more attention to the poor, marginalised, and homeless.
It is the choice Jesus places squarely before us and from which we cannot shirk. It is the choice to either answer the call of discipleship or to wield the whip of the executioner. There is no middle ground. Betray Him or follow Him?
This Easter, as we celebrate the triumph of the despised and the victory of the rejected, we are called to go beyond the obligatory tri-fold reenactment of our faith and celebration of our return to daily meat consumption.
We too, like Jesus, are called upon to make that choice, to wash the feet of those who would betray us, to embrace those who have come to their senses after squandering their inheritances in distant countries, to welcome those whose hands still grasp the instruments of our pain, and to trust that in so doing we would have come one step closer to creating a civilisation of love.
As we reflect on the endless possibilities of new life and rebirth made possible by Jesus’ resurrection, let us pray for that discernment to make the right choice, and the strength as individuals, as country, and as Church, to live out that choice, every day.