|At daybreak on the first day of the week the women who had come from Galilee with Jesus took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb; but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were puzzling over this, behold, two men in dazzling garments appeared to them. They were terrified and bowed their faces to the ground. They said to them, “Why do you seek the living one among the dead? He is not here, but he has been raised. Remember what he said to you while he was still in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be handed over to sinners and be crucified, and rise on the third day.” And they remembered his words. Then they returned from the tomb and announced all these things to the eleven and to all the others. The women were Mary Magdalene, Joanna, and Mary the mother of James; the others who accompanied them also told this to the apostles, but their story seemed like nonsense and they did not believe them. But Peter got up and ran to the tomb, bent down, and saw the burial cloths alone; then he went home amazed at what had happened (Luke 24:1-12).
Once again, we Christians find ourselves in Holy Week, about to celebrate the Paschal Triduum, the most sacred time of the Christian year, culminating in the celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus on Easter Sunday.
The message of the resurrection, of course, is that death does not have the final word. And yet, all around us, at this moment in time, death does indeed seem to have the final word. Witness the incredible suffering of our sisters and brothers in Ukraine, and consider that similar situations are going on all over the world. If we have honest in confronting the reality around us, death seems to win out a great deal. And that is pretty depressing.
And yet, the gospel of Jesus challenges us to persist, stubbornly and tenaciously, in the face of all evidence to the contrary, that death does not ultimately have the final word, that Christ’s own triumph over death holds out the promise that we humans will ultimately learn how to choose life over death, a lesson that we have not learned throughout human history, but a lesson that is still held out to us as the realization of our deepest humanity.
And how can we choose life in the midst of so much evidence of death all around us? The Christian message tells us that solidarity, solidarity with those who are suffering and on margins and peripheries of our world, a solidarity that recognizes Christ “in his most distressing disguise” (Mother Teresa of Calcutta) and seeks to relieve his suffering in them, is the path to resurrection and new life for all of us.
Solidarity is love crossing the borders drawn by self-centrism, in order to enter into the situation of the other, for the purpose of mutual relationship and struggle that heals us all and enacts God’s beloved community. Solidarity is the voice that finally comprehends: “You are not the same as me, but [a] part of you lives in me. Your freedom and mine were always inextricably entwined. Now I see it, and because of what I see, I choose to live differently. I will go there, with you, for your sake and for my own.”. . .
—[Stephanie Spellers, The Church Cracked Open : Disruption, Decline and New Hope for Beloved Community (New York : Church Publishing, 2021), 107, 109].
We at Solidarity with South Sudan give you our heartfelt thanks for your many expressions of solidarity with us, through the sharing of religious personnel, financial resources, and other forms of expertise. Your solidarity with us and with the people of South Sudan is making small miracles, small experiences of resurrection and new life, possible for the people of this troubled land. We are grateful.
We wish all of our readers much Easter Joy and Peace.
“Christ is Risen. Christ is Risen Indeed.”
13 Apr 2022
Fr. David, Mission Promoter
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