Christ Risen from the Tomb, a painting by Italian Renaissance artist Bergognone. CNS photoChrist Risen from the Tomb, a painting by Italian Renaissance artist Bergognone. CNS photoThe Resurrection is the centre of our faith. As St Paul says: “If Christ has not risen, our faith is a delusion, is empty!”

Christ redeemed us by His death and resurrection. We believe in Jesus who was handed over to death for our sins and raised up for our justification (Rom 4:25).

Through Christ’s death and resurrection, our sins are taken away and the new divine life has been given to us!

My brothers and sisters, our problems and those of the world around us will not magically disappear on Easter morning. However as Easter represents rebirth, renewal and hope, we are better positioned to do the work that is necessary to set ourselves on the right path.

Easter invites us to open our hearts to the Risen Christ and make serious efforts to share the Good News with our brothers and sisters.

To live the Easter message, let us be inspired and learn from the example of our new Pope Francis. The obedient “yes” of Jorge Mario Cardinal Bergoglio to the Lord as he is called to the immensely challenging world-changing and life-altering role as new Supreme Pontiff and Holy Father is by itself a “dying to oneself” that deeply blesses and inspires each one of us to live a life of detachment and commit ourselves to the service of the Lord and the people.

When His Holiness first appeared to the people, he was dressed in a simple white cassock, no regalia, no finery. He travelled with the cardinals in a bus.

When he was in his country he lived in a simple apartment, travelled by bus and even cooked for himself! He is truly an example of simplicity, humility and obedience to the Lord.

We must be people of authentic holiness and devotion, centring our lives on Christ – deepening our prayer and sacramental life and understanding of our faith; contributing our share to urgent issues such as immigration, healthcare, poverty, hunger, global warming, and war, to name just a few.

We must also be conversant with modern technology, comfortable with social media, maintain and defend the traditional teachings and disciplines of the Church, explaining them to an increasingly secular and sceptical culture.

We must also be sincerely committed to ecumenism and interfaith dialogue; building strong bridges of fraternity and understanding with other world religions, especially Judaism and Islam.

Let us open our hearts to the grace that Jesus has won for us on the first Easter Sunday over 2000 years ago.

May the splendour of His Resurrection scatter the shadows in our lives and enable us to walk in radiant hope towards our eternal home. And through us, may the light of Christ shine on those we reach out to.

Christ is risen! So too we will rise. Alleluia!

A Blessed Easter to one and all!

Yours devotedly in Christ
Archbishop Nicholas Chia

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