Do you know how the word “excited” came about? Somebody told me that it started when a man saw his former childhood sweetheart after so many years. That night, he wrote in his diary: “Happy day today—ex sighted!”
Today is Easter Sunday. In today’s Gospel (Jn. 20, 1-9), we learn how Mary Magdalene and the disciples were so excited that first Easter morning when they found the tomb where Jesus was buried empty. There were a lot of running and heartwarming thoughts and speculations: Could it be that He is truly risen, as He had said?
They had thought that it was all over, that the dream had come to an end. But then came Easter morning. This is the message of the Resurrection in our own lives: that we do not give up, that we continue to hope and hold on.
The closest encounter I had with the resurrection was when I stopped to anoint a person who was involved in a motorcycle accident somewhere near the Guadalupe bridge in Makati. His eyes were closed and I was whispering prayers into his ears when suddenly he opened his eyes and looked at me. He was alive! And then he said: “Father Orbos? The one on TV Mass?” Can you imagine how surprised and happy I was? He was alive and he even knew me! Such is the resurrection for us: Life will not end in death, but with God who personally knows each one of us and loves us!
New life. New chance. New beginnings. Yes, we can start again. The renewal of our baptismal promises today should lead us to a firm resolve to keep on trying to renounce Satan and believe in God. Frail and weak we are, but God does not give up on us, so we, too, should not give up on ourselves and on one another.
As a country and as a people, are we rising again or are we rising already? Easter is about hope, so we should not give in to despair or hopelessness, and neither to depression or helplessness. The same should be said of us in our own selves, in our families, in our communities. Let’s keep going. Let’s move forward.
One of the fruits of Easter is joy. Happiness is a choice. Let us choose to be happy and joyful by focusing on the lighter side of life. But when life becomes heavy, let us try our very best to rise above difficulties, but to do so not by ourselves. We must learn to hold on to the Lord who has promised to be with us through it all.
For those who choose to be unhappy and miserable, go ahead. It’s your choice. But please don’t make others miserable, too. Don’t pass on the load and don’t pass on the darkness. Easter is all about being light, and passing on the light.
As we grow older, may we not become cynical about life and love. May we not let the hurts and trials of life make us bitter, suspicious, and aloof to possibilities and surprises. May excitement and enthusiasm never leave us, and may it not be something of the past. Whatever has died in us can be revived; whatever skepticism and doubts can be cast aside if Easter is operative in our lives.
Thanking all those who helped make our Palm Sunday recollection at the Meralco Theater fruitful and meaningful, especially our guest sharers: Fr. Flavie Villanueva, SVD, Michael Angelo Lobrin, Pinky Marquez, Marianne Mencias, Allan and Nancy Yatco, and Philip Sumera. Thank you, Mission Angels, for our 21st Palm Sunday Family Recollection!
Think about this: “No one has traveled the road of success without crossing the street of failure. God never promised us an easy journey. He only promised us a great destination.”
Wishing you all a happy and a hopeful Easter! Wishing you all a meaningful journey through life. Wishing that all of us will do our mission well and reach our final destination: heaven—where there are no more tears, no more problems, no more traffic, no more politics, no more goodbyes, and where our Risen Lord lives forever and ever. Amen!
A moment with the Lord: Lord, help us to live lives filled with Easter hope, joy, excitement, peace and love. Amen.
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