by Fr. Jason Laguerta
We have come to the apex of the Holy Week, the happiest of all feasts, the mother of all feasts: EASTER!
Easter is a moment for us to acknowledge that life defeats death, that light defeats darkness, that hope defeats despair. God is alive. He has been raised from the dead.
There is hope! There is hope for all of us because the story of the Holy Week does not end on Good Friday; the story of the Holy Week ends in triumph, ends in hope, ends in the resurrection and that's also our own story.
Photo from the movie "The Son of God"
That's why Holy Week is so important for us Catholics because in the Holy Week we are led to the basic realities of our lives. We go through our passion, we go through our moments of despair, of sickness, of death. We go through our own sufferings and grief and sadness and loneliness.
But there is always new life for all of us. The Holy Week commemorates the passing over of Jesus. As it happened to Jesus, so will it be for us.
We just finished our Holy Week meditation and what a way to end a story - by ending it well, ending it good. Nothing beats a happy ending and that is the story of Easter. It is a happy ending. Our God is a God of happy endings so if it’s not happy yet, it only means it is not the end.
Let us not grow tired of hoping, of keeping the faith alive. Let us not grow tired of dreaming for a better life, for a better future, for yourself or your family, for a country, for the world.
Jesus rose from the dead. He has taken over darkness. He has defeated death. We rely on that and we cling to that because as St. Paul would say, what are we if Jesus did not rise from the dead? Our faith would be for nothing but because he rose from the dead then there is hope for all of us.
Tayong mga Filipino mayroon tayong kasabihan, “Habang may buhay, may pag-asa.” And yet time and again, I would often say, I regret to tell you I don't believe in that. “Habang may buhay, may pag-asa” is wrong. Although culturally that is what we say at salamat po sa nakatatanda, sinabi nila sa atin yan.
But for me it is not right to say it because it is not just true. What is true is, kahit wala nang buhay may pag-asa pa rin.
Death does not end or put a period to our life. So it is better to say, “Kahit wala nang buhay, kayang bigyan ng Diyos ng buhay.” Kahit sinukuan na ng mga tao, hindi susuko ang Diyos. Kahit umayaw na ang tao, hindi aayaw ang Diyos because he is a faithful God. He is the God of happy endings. He will always resist death and darkness. He will always triumph over suffering and pain.
Kaya pwedeng nating sabihin, kahit wala nang buhay, may pag-asa pa rin.
Araw-araw kahit pakiramdam natin wala nang buhay, often times in our life we reach that rock bottom, we reach that point when we say nothing more, wala nang pag-asa, wala nang buhay, walang sigla, wala nang saysay. I can feel that in many of the people I have talked to, there is the sense of giving up, the sense of desperation, the same one lifelessness. It is as if life has been taken away from them.
Kahit wala nang buhay, kahit wala nang saysay, kahit wala nang nakikitang liwanag, sasabihin sa ating Diyos, “Hindi totoo yan. It is not true.”
Death can be defeated. Darkness can be overcome.
Life shines. Light shines all around us!
It is Easter!
Happy Easter to all of us! And may the Easter joy and hope be with you today and everyday.
Happy Easter! Jesus is alive! He has been raised from the dead! Alleluia, alleluia!