Archbishop Nicholas Chia's 2007 Easter Message

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Easter is the greatest feast in the Church. This is the day that Jesus broke the chains of death and rose in triumph from the grave and shares with us the fruits of His victory. As He said, "I am the Resurrection and the Life... whoever lives and believes in Me will never die" (John 11:25-26).

When Jesus said, "I am the Resurrection and the Life", He is not only referring to His own resurrection from the dead. He is talking about the resurrection and the life that He will bring to those who believe in Him. Furthermore He does not mean only the resurrection to life on the last day. He means also and especially "a new kind of life" that is already shared here and now. This is indicated by His remarkable statement: "Whoever lives and believes in Me will never die."

In this world suffering and death constitute a huge challenge to our faith. As we go through life we all experience "little deaths". We get a foretaste of death when we encounter failures, sicknesses, death of loved ones, disappointments; when we live in bitterness, sadness and depression. However, if our faith in the Resurrection is firm we will not be overcome. Crosses are not ends in themselves but are a prelude to the resurrection.

In today's Good News we read "the stone was taken away". By God's power Christ's grave was opened. He has risen. Alleluia! There may be stones that keep us buried and prevent us from rising with Christ.

What are these stones that imprison us? It may be the stone of selfishness, stone of greed, of impurity, of gluttony, dishonesty, laziness, pride, anger, envy, hatred, indifference and lukewarmness. By God's power, these stones can be taken away.

When we live and believe in Christ, even in this world we will expeirence "little resurrections". When we know love, accpetance and forgiveness, whenw e open our hearts to others and reach out to those inneed we emerge from the tomb.

May the splendour of His Resurrection scatter the shadows on earth and enable us to walk in radiant hope towards our eternal home.

"As He has risen, so too we will rise."

A Happy and Blessed Easter to all!

Yours devotedly in Christ

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Archbishop Nicholas Chia

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