Christ is Risen!

By Engr. Carlos Cornejo

“Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever!” (Psalm 118:1) Easter Sunday or the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ is the biggest feast in the Church.  It’s bigger than Christmas because the Resurrection is the penultimate completion of Christ’s mission on earth, which is mankind’s salvation. Although Christmas is celebrated more materially, Easter is celebrated more spiritually.  Christ being born on Christmas day was the initial step that leads to Christ’s final task of saving humanity on Easter Sunday.   The Resurrection of Christ has so many spiritual lessons to learn from foremost is Christ’s conquest of sin and death.  If we are faithful to Christ, death would not have the last say in our life but rather it’s our resurrection to eternal life.  “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in me, though he dies, yet he shall live.”  (John 11:25)

Another lesson would be that Christ rose on a Sunday, which is the first day of the week in the Jewish calendar, that coincides with the first day of creation. Thus, it symbolizes a new creation in the spiritual realm.  When God created the world on the very first day, He said, “Let there be light” (Genesis 1:3).  And Christ is the light of the world to signal a new kind of light for mankind to follow.  “I am the light of the world. He who follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12)

Third lesson is love’s conquest of evil.  When Christ rose from the dead, after having been cruelly tortured and crucified, instead of being vindictive and revengeful to His enemies, He tells the world, “Peace be with you.” (John 20:19) This reminded me of Sister Maria Laura Mainetti of Chiavenna, Italy who was beatified by Pope Francis last June 6, 2021 declaring her a martyr for being hated and killed for her faith.  On the evening of June 6, 2000, three girls who were members of a satanic cult and who knew her because she had taught them catechism lured Sr. Mainetti into a park by claiming that one of them needed to talk. This girl claimed she had been raped and impregnated and was considering an abortion. The three girls made Sr. Mainetti kneel and shouted obscenities at her. One girl beat the 60-year-old sister with a brick and another pushed her head repeatedly into a wall. They took turns stabbing the sister 19 times with a kitchen knife. They had, according to Italian media reports, intended to stab her 18 times, six times each, to form by their violence the number 666. Sr. Mainetti prayed throughout the attack and asked God to forgive the girls for their actions. Her last words, according to some accounts of her death, were “Lord, forgive them.”  This holy nun is giving us a lesson that we ought not to answer evil for evil otherwise evil will triumph but answer evil with good and goodness will prevail.  “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”  (Romans 12:21) Even though Blessed Sr. Mainetti died a tragic and violent death, her love and forgiveness shined over hatred and evil and her beatification ceremony was a celebration of joy and victory rather than crying over a sad and terrible death of a poor nun.

Lastly, when the risen Christ appeared to his disciples, He showed them His wounds. (John 20:20) Christ retained His wounds instead of appearing with an immaculately restored body to remind us that it was our sins that caused His sufferings and that the way to Easter always goes through the sacrifice of Good Friday.  No Easter Sunday if there is no Good Friday.  And that we too, if we want to triumph with Christ to the very end of our lives, has to undergo self-immolation and sacrifice as a payback for our sins.