Common Roots: Ancient Evangelical Future Conference

Easter Message: Ian Ernest

Archbishop of the Indian Ocean: My soul finds rest in God alone.

On this Sunday of Easter, I wish to share with you a Good News that will give better perspectives to the world in which we live.

The Lenten time we have lived has enabled us to rediscover the dream of God for all humanity through a time of intense prayer, fasting and meditation on the Word of God.

This dream already realized by the coming of his Son Jesus, savior of the world gives each person the possibility to seek the presence of God who turns out to be generous and fulfilling. Every human soul carries within it a deep desire to live by this presence. This human expectation is expressed by St. Augustine of Hippo, Theologian of the 3rd century, in these words:

“My soul finds rest only in God alone”

Different philosophies that have lulled human civilizations reflect this intense sigh of the human soul to know the ultimate truth – But human reasoning is not enough. Divine intervention alone can respond to this human expectation.

God therefore intervened in history by the coming of Jesus his Son whom he sent so that his dream of a new world was realized. The Easter festival is relevant today because it confirms that this dream is realized by the model of life set up by Jesus. It can be implemented today and can offer believers the hope of a new life. It is a historical fact that the risen Christ has by his life radiated power and glory.

The impact of his resurrection can not be neglected. When he appeared before his disciples, they were transformed: from this band of desperate people he made a group of courageous missionaries. Where they have been preached the Good News of the Resurrection of Christ, the power of this event began to transform the lives of people: light penetrated darkness, love has made hatred disappear and joy took over Place of sadness.

But there is one question we must answer:

Is it true that Jesus rose from the dead? Is it also relevant today after 2000 years, when we live in an unprecedented technological and scientific transformation?

Yes, the resurrection of Jesus is relevant and meaningful because in rising Jesus from the dead, God comes to affirm that the life of Jesus is the model to follow. What is this way of life? Unlike the social culture of his time, he became a friend of the poor, cured the sick, took care of the most vulnerable and looked at those who were rejected. Instead of giving importance to religious rituals, he placed the human being at the center of his preoccupations. He provoked the powerful by identifying himself with the little ones. The powerful in this world have put him to death because they have rejected his way of life. God raised him up to show that the path of Jesus is the true path to life.

The events of today’s world sadden us and shake us more and more – war, terrorist attacks, the rise of nationalism and populism which preach an egocentric attitude, intolerance, the lack of heart of certain leaders World’s politicians paint a gloomy picture of this world and fear grabs us and weakens us. The uncertainty seems to invade our feelings and we head towards the troubled waters. There is substance to these fears, for the world keeps changing rapidly.

What then can Easter offer us?

It not only offers us another way of life or an assurance of eternal life but it offers us the hope of a new life right now. For example, whenever we experience a trial, a failure, or we are destabilized by an illness, we will die a little. But if we believe in the presence of the risen Christ, who embodies God’s dream for all mankind, we will discover other dreams to pursue, new challenges to face, and good reasons to try again.

The Archbishop Emeritus, Desmond Tutu, Archbishop Helder Camara and Mother Teresa all have because of their faith in the risen Jesus, to overthrow the unjust and dehumanizing structures of human society through a spirit of endurance.

The Indian Ocean region is witnessing today the fragility of our social and political institutions. Social evils seem to take over. It is time to give new perspectives of life. May the light of Jesus risen by our prayers, our common actions and our determination illuminate the shadows of our region.

Whenever we are overwhelmed, discouraged and diminished, let us think of this dream of God made possible by Jesus who by his death reconciled us to God and who through his resurrection

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