Easter Message from Primate of Brazil
"He is not here, He has risen, as he said He would. Come and see the place where He lay." Mt 28:6
The Church is challenged once again to live this passage from anguish to joy, from death to life, from defeat to victory!
This is the time when we live and identify with Jesus's journey, in His struggle against an oppressive political and religious system that generates immense pain and divisions. Two thousand years later, the characters of the story have changed, technology has changed, scientific knowledge has changed, culture has changed, but the rationale continues to be the same. It is a rationale, the reason of death.
The images of what I saw recently in my trip to Rondonia are still very much alive in my mind and memory. I saw brothers and sisters abandoned, left on their own, struggling in inhuman conditions, trying to survive and assert their dignity. I saw victims of gender violence in the visit to the Noeli Santos Home that cry for their dignity and rights in the middle of an indifferent society.
In each look, in each gesture of those brothers and sisters I was able to experience how much Jesus suffered our pains.
Not only our physical pains but our emotional and spiritual pains. This reinforces the conviction even more that we can only continue our journey in absolute faith and trust in God's providence. Our society is deeply sick and continues to be insensitive to the barbarity that takes place in our daily lives.
Only faith sustains us through the experience of the resurrection. Through the resurrection of Christ we have the certainty that death and the mentality of the present time is defeated. The tomb is empty and death is ashamed. It is that faith that moves us towards the other and to the world. It is that faith that moves us to confront with words and actions the powers that be. Powers that remain comfortable in a system that only benefits them. But these powers cannot do anything to the One who resurrects from death (and is not longer here)!
May our Church experience the power of the Passover. To not only live the beauty of the liturgy in our lives but to give us the strength to announce the Gospel, and therefore transform our society. The pain, the suffering, and the tears of those who are marginalized, weak and poor will be transformed in eternal joy. And we, as Jesus' followers, are called to maintain the faith and hope in the resurrection as we walk in solidarity with our weakest brothers and sisters. May the power of the risen Christ be the Light of our ministry so that we no longer remain in our comforts zones, but have the courage to announce that justice will prevail.
A blessed Passover of the Lord!
++Francisco, Santa Maria