~The Rev. Peter M. Carey
EASTER MESSAGE 2010
Msgr. Jean Zache DURACIN
Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Haiti
From Episcopal Life, Online
"Alleluia, He is risen"
Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
The devastating earthquake of January 12, 2010, does not stop us from singing in joy and gladness, "Alleluia, He is risen" in this Easter season. We have been especially affected this Lent as the awful odors from the many bodies have invaded us and invaded us again. As we reflect on biblical themes such as repentance, conversion, forgiveness, we remember as well a relative, a friend, one who was close to us, all of whom, in most cases, were denied funeral ceremonies where we could say goodbye with human dignity. Thus, crossing the desert has been and still is long and extremely difficult. With millions of people without proper shelter, without work, living in desperate conditions, the situation is truly lamentable.
However, it is necessary that life continue. This is indeed why we celebrate the resurrection of Christ. His resurrection is a sign that God can give life even to dry bones (Ezekiel 37:3-6). God is a God of life, a life that flows from his love for humanity, a love that is embodied in his Son Jesus Christ. The Gospel according to St. John tells us: "God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life" (John 3:16). If in ancient times, Easter means the passage from slavery in Egypt to the promised land of Israel, in Jesus Christ, it signifies instead the passage from death to life. We have this symbolism in the administration of our baptism into Him where we die with Him in our sins, to be resurrected with Him in glory. This greeting is what he came to bring us from the Father.
By celebrating Christmas, we say welcome in our heart, in our body, in our soul and in our mind. This is the way we say, "The Lord is with all Haitians." As it is written in the Acts of the Apostles, chapter 10:34-36, "Peter spoke up and said: 'Now I truly understand that God shows no partiality. In every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him. He sent a message to the people of Israel, the Good News of the peace of Jesus Christ who is Lord of all.'"
Even though we are in trouble, we are not alone. We have to put our faith in action so that the Lord can come deliver us, because he is not far from us, he is in us and he is among us. He is suffering with us, so he can lift us up to rejoice. So we have to be just, we have to love one another, in solidarity, in fraternity, with respect for each other and with respect for our environment, for we cannot destroy God's marvelous creation. For God can take pleasure in us, and his life can grow in us and for us, for all time. We don't have to kill one another, or do bad things to each other. On the contrary, the stronger must lend a hand to the one who is weaker and return respect so that we all can move on to rebuild our country, so we can develop societally, spiritually and morally. This is the salvation in Jesus Christ where life is abundant.
Dear friends in the faith, we can no longer continue to look for Jesus among the dead (Luke 24:5), we can no longer remain in tears because of our dead, because, if during their earthly life, they knew love, their place is in the Kingdom with the Lord to reign with Him in His eternal glory. Our main prayer for this season must be this: "God Almighty, by the victory of your only Son over death, you open for us the doors to eternity; we pray to you, as we celebrate with joy the day of the resurrection of the Lord, that your Spirit, which gives life, resurrects us from the death of sin. Through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever."
While we all sing together, "Alleluia, He is risen," I say to each and every one of you: A Joyous Easter.