Sunday, April 4, 2010

Easter Sunday

For the past Sundays of Lent, the readings of the Mass exposed to us the true face of sin as a rebellion against the Lord. Satan was unmasked as a deceiver who keeps promising what he cannot deliver. This year, Lent has shown us that Satan has brought the entire mankind nothing but misery and humiliation. Thus, we were moved to repentance. We confessed our sins and engaged in penance and works of charity to express our interior contrition.

Now that the days of fasting have come to an end, what ought we to do? This has to be asked because while it may be true that the whole world stands still on Holy Week, everything returns to “normal” at Easter Sunday. We return to our “normal” lives. We go back to our “normal” selves. What do I mean? Well, people tend to become extra pious on Holy Week and return to their former ways afterwards. Last Good Friday, a preacher in Sto. Domingo Church noted the huge crowd in Church on that day. He said, “Bakit ba maraming nagsisimba kung kelan patay ang Diyos? Tapos pag buhay na ang Diyos, di na tayo nagsisimba.” There was a grain of truth in what he said. Often times, we give the impression that our repentance, our conversion is simply seasonal and cosmetic. It is more like a ceasefire in our rebellion against God and not a radical reorientation of our lives towards God. In the second reading, St. Paul tells us: “Cast out the old yeast…the yeast of malice and wickedness.” “Let us celebrate with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.” St. John Chrysostom said something in the same light: “We have finished with the duty of fasting; let us not however finish with the fruits of fasting. For we can put aside the obligation of fasting, and yet gather the fruits of it. The weariness of the struggle has passed; but let the eagerness of doing what is right not leave us. The fast has ended but the service of God remains…Bodily fast had ended; but the discipline of the spirit has not ended. This latter is more desirable than the first; and the first was instituted because of this.”

St. Paul gives us the reason for casting aside the old leaven of sin, of wretchedness and wickedness: “For Christ, our paschal lamb, has been sacrificed.” He has made our reconciliation with God possible by his suffering and death. He has washed us clean from sin with his own blood. The price he paid for our redemption was not a joke. He suffered and died in order to lead us out of slavery to sin. Let us keep in mind the price he paid. Let us not take it for granted by returning to the slavery he freed us from.

St. Augustine admonished us: “So thanks to the Lord our God who has delivered us from the power of darkness, and brought us into the kingdom of the Son whom he loved (Col 1, 12-13). Separated then from this darkness by the light of his Gospel, and delivered from these powers of evil through the Precious Blood, let you watch and pray so that you may not enter into temptation (Matt. 26, 41). For whosoever among you has that faith which works in charity (Gal. 5, 6), the prince of this world is cast forth from your hearts (Jn. 12, 31). But outside, he goes about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour (1 Pt. 5, 8).”

Dearly beloved, let our repentance be sincere and our resolve be firm. Christ has been sacrificed. Let us renounce Satan, his works, and his pomps. Let us turn away from sin and believe in the Gospel. Let us not walk in darkness but live as children of light.

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