Alleluia

Are you living as an Easter people of God or still in Golgotha?

As married couples, there are a lot of practical lessons that we can learn about relationship from the death and resurrection of Christ as shared by Fr. Mark Demanuele, MSSP during the Easter Recollection organized by the The Feast Bay Area Couple’s Ministry.

As a missionary, Fr. Mark shared his journey of challenges as an Easter person.

Easter people of God

The beauty of the cross is in the promise of Easter, where God shows His natures as a redeemer and restorer. If your marriage is in a time of stress and pain, put your hope in the one who sees past the immediate circumstances of your life and into a hopeful and wonderful future. It is very possible that God could use the current difficulty in your marriage to create something even more beautiful and enduring than you could ever imagine. As you celebrate Easter with your family this year, take some time to reflect on the meaning for your marriage. Allow the wonderful and powerful spiritual truths of Easter breathe new life into your relationship, and your bond will be stronger for it.

He pointed everyone to the powerful exhortation of St. John Paul II back in 1986:

“We do not pretend that life is all beauty. We are aware of darkness and sin, of poverty and pain. But we know Jesus has conquered sin and passed through his own pain to the glory of the Resurrection. And we live in the light of his Paschal Mystery – the mystery of his Death and Resurrection. “We are an Easter People and Alleluia is our song!”. We are not looking for a shallow joy but rather a joy that comes from faith, that grows through unselfish love, that respects the “fundamental duty of love of neighbour, without which it would be unbecoming to speak of Joy”. We realize that joy is demanding; it demands unselfishness; it demands a readiness to say with Mary: “Be it done unto me according to thy word”.

In particular if Lent is a time to give things up, Easter ought to be a time to take things up.

If Calvary means putting to death things in your life that need killing off if you are to flourish as a Christian and as a truly human being, then Easter should mean planting, watering, and training up things in your life (personal and corporate) that ought to be blossoming, filling the garden with color and perfume and in due course bearing fruit.

Jesus resurrection is the beginning of God’s new project not to snatch people away from earth to heaven but to colonize earth with the life of heaven.

Characteristics of Easter people as shared by Fr. Mark:

  • Easter people rejoice in Jesus’ death AND resurrection. (Romans 5:10)
  • Easter people preach the resurrection more than one day a year. (Acts 4:2)
  • Easter people long for their resurrection brought by Jesus as much as or if not more so than a temporary bodiless existence in heaven. (1 Corinthians 15; Philippians 3:7-11; Revelation 21)
  • Easter people long to see Jesus restore creation from the curse of decay. (Romans 8 )
  • Easter people speak up at great cost against the ‘principalities and powers’ of this world because Jesus is our risen King and he is king over them all. (Colossians 1:15-20; Hebrews 2:7-9)
  • Easter people are willing to deny themselves and lose all things for the sake of Christ now because Christ, by the power of his resurrection, has promised to restore all things and reward his disciples in the ‘life after the next life’. (Matthew 19:27-28; Mark 10:28-31; Revelation 21:5)

As an “Easter People,” our response to the gift of forgiveness and eternal life compels us to try to live lives that reflect our new status. We are a people forgiven, healed and renewed by Jesus’ Body and Blood, and we are called to share that Good News with the whole world.

Our response can and should be rooted in love. As Jesus himself has told us, love for God and love for our neighbor is the foundation of Christian living. Because God first loved us, loved us so much that we were given God’s only son for our salvation, our response to this love is not only to love God as deeply and fully as we are able, but also to love everyone else as deeply and fully as we love ourselves.

As couples, our relationship with God matters most.

We need to nurture the loving relationship of husbands and wives like how Christ offered His life in the cross.

In this time of violence, strife, argument and disagreement, God continues to call us to love not to hate. God continues to call us to look beyond the immediate to the eternal.

What in a moment of anger or outrage might satisfy our pride is most probably not consistent with the loving future God wants for us.

It is not God who has created the turmoil that surrounds us; it is turmoil of our own making born from our love of self above our love of others.

This Easter, amidst the joy and celebration of our new lives in Christ, let us also celebrate the joy of new life with others.

Let us begin to set aside our pride and petty difference that not only separate us from each other, but also separate us from God.

Let us strive to become an “Easter People” who know and reflect God’s love through our love for one another as equals—equally beloved children of God.

SDE

Just want to share the wonderful journey I had during this Holy Season of Lent.

Relive the wonder of going Deeper into God’s love at this year’s Holy Week Retreat/Grand Easter Feast last March 29-30 and April 1 at the SM MOA Arena and SMX Convention Center.

Go (click here) #Deeper here at #TheFeast #HolyWeekRetreat2018

Run

Dive deeper into the love of God and allow His grace to wash away our sadness and worries.

This was the message of the Grand Easter Feast 2018 dubbed “Deeper”, organized by the Light of Jesus (LOJ) community.

The event was a great opportunity to rediscover our meaningful relationship with God.

His Eminence Luis Antonio G. Cardinal Tagle of the Archdiocese of Manila led the Holy Eucharist in the morning.

Grand Easter Feast 2018

As a resurrected Church, like the apostles, it is incumbent on us to go out and proclaim the Good News. The instruction of the Risen Lord to the disciples was, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers.” (cf Mt 28:10) We do this by recovering our personal relationship with the Lord. We need to rekindle the faith of our Catholics. We need to reach out to those who are searching for God in their lives or who desire a personal relationship with Him. Faith is not just worship and doctrines. We need to express them concretely as there are many who are seeking for signs of love and welcome, a sense of identity and belonging. Photo credits: small bottle with water juxtaposed with the stage by Sis. Hannah Sharisah Marquez.

His presence was like a tight embrace from God.

He reminded everyone on the true essence of Easter in our lives.

He said that Easter was all about running.

Like the apostles when they opened the tomb, they run as fast as they can when they found out that no one was inside the tomb.

Are you letting God run your life?

Are you tired?

Are you weary?

Are you just trying to survive and stumble across the finish line?

Are you striving to give it your best?

Or are you thriving? Are you trained and prepare to run this race of life and faith well?

Para kanino ka tumatakbo? Sinong nagpapatakbo ng buhay mo?

Last year, I was in Angeles Pampanga during the Holy Week for my healing journey. Never did I think that I would participate in a Holy Week experience like in 2018.

I let go and let God guide me.

Fruitful.

Meaningful.

Empowered.

Ready to dive again with life’s many challenges.

Bring it on!

Easter, then, is the beginning of attitudes and spirits of hopes, of confidence and trust. It is our responsibility to cooperate with this wonderful grace that Jesus is offering us. Only then, can we move ahead with determination to new possibilities, as the apostles eventually did after Pentecost.

We have to confront our empty tombs and discard our burial cloths. Then we can turn them into signs of hope and new life.

Jesus’ resurrection proclaims the miraculous transformation of our earthly existence. Death has been conquered. We understand what was meant by what the early Fathers (and perhaps, Mothers) of the Church meant when they said: “Jesus became human so that we could become divine.”

We participate in the Paschal Mystery. We know and experience the cycle of life, death and new life. We know that new life is often borne in pain. We know that we can hold life and death together.

Even while something within us is dying, something new can be rising. We have to give ourselves over to God and not confine God to our human limitations.

Then we can truly proclaim with St. Augustine that “We are Easter people and ‘Alleluia is our song.’ Let us sing Alleluia here and now in this life so that we can sing it one day in the life to come.”

Let’s give up all of our negative views of ourselves. “If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31). Second, let’s listen to Jesus as he tells us that he knows how much we love him. Let’s allow these words to move us out into the world to feed his sheep.

May we all have a blessed Easter season!