His Eminence - Paschal Message 2008

Our celebration today, the resurrection of the Lord, does not concern believers only; it calls out to the entire human race in variety of ways, and to each individual human being. It relates to all oppressed peoples struggling for their liberty, right and dignity. It invites all those who are concerned with their own well-being regarding justice and peace. The Pascha is also the festival of hope for our soul, attracted as it is to spiritual virtues and their implementation in daily living. The Resurrection is joy and consolation to us followers of Jesus Christ – our Pascha.
This Festival invites us at once to proclaim the holiness of the resurrected and to know Him as the One who liberates us totally and gives complete peace.
He has come to our world to save the whole of humanity and to usher in a new solidarity with all people. He has given His life on the cross and has risen from the tomb in order to give us a new life.
Easter of old was made possible because of Golgotha; it was because of that event the veil of the temple in Jerusalem was torn at the very moment the Lord gave up His Spirit. The symbols and ancient prophecies lost their “raison d’etre” for they were realized in and through Him.
The victory of sin and of its accomplice, death, has been acknowledged as without foundation. The instant the Lord died on the cross, at the time of the last symbolic passover, all the forces of darkness evaporated before the light of the Resurrection. Christ, conquered death, has become the precursor of all those who have tasted death, and has affirmed by His Resurrection that all evil came to an end.
Christ proclaims that through the cross. The Cross above, the flame it lit of a resurrection through which we must seek consistently a life of holiness, perfection and liberty. By His victorious Resurrection over death, our Lord has allowed us to find again the divine Image which was obscured by sin in Him. He has given again the possibility of launching into the liberty of the spirit and the purity of the faith, to walk along the ways of holiness, which is to be like the image embedded in Him.
By this new spiritual experience man shares in the liberty of the children of God. He is affirmed in the love of God and realises he is the brother of all people. His relationship in society are stamped with wisdom which show itself as leniency and gentleness. Thus have the heart attitudes of justice and purity, which further his sanctification. Remaining faithful to his chosen path man lives with God in union with Jesus, our eternal Easter. And by the same token, man advances on the road to perfection. It is for this that the call of Christ comes individually to each person. This is not to overshadow the social dimension and man’s involvement in establishing a better society. There is no good society that is not composed of people renewed within themselves and free of all equalitarianism and human contingencies. They need to be capable of distancing themselves from problems in order better to solve them through the leaven of Christ’s Kingdom.
Although it is costly to us, and these may be our personal feelings. We are bound to pass on the Message of Christ.
We are bound to take over where our fathers left off. Their hearts were lit up by the resurrection as they shared their faith and love to the end of the universe. We must also live the same love and dedication of Christ, this love poured out with His blood on the cross.
This love must rule our lives, our manner of teaching people.
Christ has taught us that the Cross leads to the Resurrection, that tears and suffering up the way to joy, that after death comes life in the light of an eternal Easter.
We pray our God, who comes out of the tomb in order that His Resurrection should encourage us all, to anchor our life always in love and justice and to work sincerely and diligently for what is good and peaceful.
Very Happy Easter to all
Metropolitan Archbishop Paul
Primate of Australia, New Zealand and the Philippines

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