Rev. Fr. M. K. Kuriakose
If one would call the greatest event in Christian history, that event will be
the Resurrection of our Lord. The greatest of the miracles is the Resurrection
and the greatest of the mysteries also is the Resurrection. Sometime I wondered
if I am qualified to touch this great divine mystery.
A single man who
worked the shortest period of three and half years had created the highest
sensation in the world. Began as a small community of 12 disciples, it took
hardly three centuries to ‘conquer the Romans Empire. It is interesting that the
Roman Emperors were the most terrified by the inception of the new way life
called Christianity. The Roman Emperors tried for three centuries to uproot
Christianity from its empire killing a few million Christians during that span
of time. Finally the Roman Empire declared Christianity as its official religion
in 308 A.D. during the time of Emperor Theodosius I.
How did a single
person conquer the entire Roman world in three centuries? It was simply the
power of the Resurrection. Roman Empire had seen many great emperors who spread
the empire to unseen borders and brought fantastic reforms but none of them
could win more people than Jesus Himself, in spite of being the target of
attack. The one who was attacked by the emperors conquered the emperors. The
Romans used to conquer by the power of the sword but Jesus conquered them by the
power of his love. In the last quarter or the 3rd century and the first quarter
of the 4th century AD Roman emperors systematically killed Christians.
Diocletian alone killed millions hoping that Christianity can be brought under
control. But the people who believed in the way of Christ increased day by day
throughout the Roman Empire. Finally when Constantine became the Emperor, he
knew it is impossible to remove faith in Christ and in addition he had the
vision of the sign of the cross on the Sun and got converted. Indeed his mother
herself was already converted. Thus through the Edict of Milan in 313,
Christians were given freedom.
Christians today must remember the first
three hundred years of history of the martyr Church. “The blood of the martyrs
became the seed of the Church”. It was all simply because they truly believed
in a resurrected Lord. Christians were ready to be killed because they knew
they will join the Lord after death. Even today we can see many who are willing
to die and kill for the sake of faith but the difference in the Early Church was
that they did not kill or attack others but subdued themselves to attackers and
showed The Way.
The following reflections are ideal on Easter Sunday:
1. Concept of death as a frightening reality is changed to a hopeful
reality. Worry over death is the sign of one’s lack of faith in a living God.
It is humanly difficult to understand that mystery of Resurrection but faith can
answer that mystery which will give courage to live and die.
Resurrection gives us liberation from fear. Our Lord told his disciples, “Fear
not” “peace be with you” when he appeared to them. Today life in this world is
not any more a joke. No one lives in peace. People are afraid to travel by land,
sea or air because of terrorists. Any moment an ethnic, religious, linguistic,
nationality-related, caste-related, etc. fight can break out. Innocent people
will suffer because of such fights that take place all the time all over the
world. The prosperity that Western world enjoy has been under threat. No one
can give security to anyone. One will never know what kind of neighbor one will
have. Fear is ruling the world now. Those who are afraid will fight for their
existence. But those who “live by faith” will never be afraid.
Resurrection assures us of the continuous presence of the Lord with us. Saul was
not a fan of Christ. He may not have even seen the Lord while His ministry was
on. Later when the living Lord encountered him, Saul became Paul the greatest
missionary ever the world saw. That is why St. Paul said, “If Jesus did not
resurrect our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain”. Those who
experience the continued presence of God in their life will never move from
their faith even at the point of death.
4. Resurrection gave us the
divine dimension of life. Man always had the material dimension of life. Jesus
helped us overcome the worldly perspective of life. Still many Christians do
not understand this. They keep trying the material dimension of life as the
primary navigating principle for them. We can see how easily they fail. No
matter who we are, unless we understand the divine God-oriented life, we can
never bear witness to the Lord. Such people will not fight for material things
like property, authority, material identity, power, and recognition. Today’s
Church is spoiled by such materially minded leaders who have nothing but worldly
style to offer. This is the greatest challenge today. Many don’t realize this.
5. Finally Resurrection confirms the sacrificial love that alone has
victory. ‘No pain, no gain,’ ‘no cross no crown’ ‘no sacrifice no victory’ ‘no
love no God’. Today’s people must learn this practical lesson and not the
theoretical lesson. It is the sacrifice of the Lord that gave Him victory over
everything including Satan. The world in which we all live today can only be
saved with this message. No power of ammunition, money, or rocket science can
win the world. The most simple, inexpensive, and ideal way is the way of our
Lord that is sacrificial love that imposed no conditions, no legal
complications, no constitutional arguments and therefore no court case. Who
wants this way of Christ?
Our Lord is Risen!
Indeed our Lord is Risen! Let us all loudly say this and live in that