Rev. Fr. Emilio A. Ascaño, LRMS
My beloved sisters and brothers in the Crucified and Risen Christ,
Peace! I wish to convey to you with joy the traditional Christian greeting: “Christ is risen! He is risen indeed!”
I share this message at a difficult time in the lives of many peoples, in our country and around the world. This year, we observe Easter for the second time in a challenging context amid painful situations. Many of our people are experiencing fear and uncertainty, as well as trauma, separation, isolation, loss of hope, or sickness and death in their families or in their church communities.
This pandemic, which has affected the whole world, is also affecting the way Holy Week was celebrated. To protect our own lives and those of others, many of us are celebrating Easter again and will meet with the Risen Lord “behind closed doors” (John 20,19-20).
Yet, despite these difficult and painful situations, the message of Easter shines. The Risen Lord is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Heb. 13:8). Easter is a reminder and a blessing from God during this difficult time...It is a beautiful encouragement that God in Christ continues to love and care for the whole world, overcoming death with life, conquering fear and uncertainty with hope. The tomb is empty; Christ is Risen!
Throughout the centuries, the Easter greeting ”Christ is risen!” has always infused Christians with the power and courage to confront death, destruction, oppression end enslavement, fear, doubt and uncertainty.
As the pandemic drags on, let us deepen our fraternity and be united in prayers...deepen our service and love for the Church and for the Lord...and in affirming together our common faith and hope in the Risen Lord: “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting? But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Cor. 15:55, 57).