Are you an Easter person? | Inquirer Opinion
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Are you an Easter person?

The story is told about a young man who cut in at the front of a long line of people waiting for the grocery store to open. An elderly lady beat him with her cane, and told him to go to the back. He did, but he returned and cut in again, and he was punched by an angry man. As he approached the line for the third time, he said: “If you don’t let me unlock the door of my store, you’ll never get in there!”

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Happy Easter! Today we lift our praises and thanksgiving to the man who opened the gates of heaven, but was beaten, crucified, and killed by the very people He wanted to save. Jesus went through a lot of suffering and pain so that we can be redeemed.

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Alleluia! (Praise the Lord!) If, as somebody put beautifully, ECQ means “Encounter Christ Quietly” during the Holy Week, then on Easter let’s go for ECJ: Encounter Christ Joyfully! Let gratitude be our prayer, and let joy be our song. The Lord is risen. Alleluia! Let us all be Easter persons, filled and overflowing with hope and joy especially during these difficult times.

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In today’s gospel (Jn. 20, 1-9), we hear about the empty tomb that greeted Mary Magdalene, Peter, and John on that first Easter morning. It was an awe-filled moment. What Jesus promised about rising again was true! But it was also filled with doubts, fear, and even shame for their unbelief. But the power of Easter erased all that. May we also experience the light of Easter to vanish the dark night of COVID-19 that has enveloped us for a year now.

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As it was in the time of Jesus, the authorities, suppressed, controlled, and manipulated the truth. They spread the fake news that Jesus’ body was taken away by the disciples to belie the resurrection story. So it is still today, that some people who cannot handle the truth resort to half-truths, intimidation and even persecution so that their personal agenda will go on.

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Fr. Valentino Darunday, SVD, has gone home to the glorious kingdom of our heavenly Father last March 29 at the age of 88. This joyful and humble missionary priest for 63 years from Albuquerque personified the beautiful life motto: “Live well, love much, laugh often.”

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Father Val was an Easter person. He radiated the joy and the sunshine of his Lord and Master. He did not radiate himself. He was genuinely interested in other people, ever ready to humbly efface himself. It was such a privilege to have lived with this committed missionary priest who was full of joy and humility. I learned a lot from Father Val, whom I call the extra-miler, and the extra-smiler.

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Father Val was a dynamic speaker. He was not afraid to deliver God’s message with his jokes, gestures, rondalla choir, and dramatics. He was not afraid to pray with the heart, and to be real. Preaching for him was not so much about being popular or impressive, as being real and expressive. Daghang salamat, Father Val, for the life lessons and the inspiration!

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Think about this: “We are not all in the same boat. We are in the same storm. Some have yachts; some have canoes; some are drowning; Please be kind and help when you can.”

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Joyfully praying and hoping with you that next Easter, the pandemic will be over, and we would come out of it better persons. Sana. Sana all. Happy Easter! Let’s live Easter! Let’s give Easter!

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A moment with the Lord:

Lord, help us to become Easter persons, radiating hope and joy. Amen.

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TAGS: Gospel, Jerry M. Orbos, Moments
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