Easter: A thirty-year-old man gives hope to the world

Easter: A thirty-year-old man gives hope to the world

By Fr. Rifat Bader

First: A fifty-year old man has killed a twenty-year- old man and tried to commit suicide. A sixty-year old-man disappears…Thus, we are talking about people using numbers. Not a day passes without hearing such painful stories which became the focus of our discussions.

A thirty-year-old Man named Jesus Christ was "crucified" following a fragile "coalition" that existed at the time between Roman forces and Jewish hardliners. This Man, whose mother shed tears and was followed by 12 disciples, did not remain subject to death and elimination. He rose from the dead on the third day with "Pentecost" marked following Lenten season. The presence of this "thirty-year-old" Man on Earth was not meaningless. He, furthermore, did not ascend into Heaven without changing callous hearts and minds that he had referred to as hypocrites, which applies to the Pharisees. The sum of thirty pieces of silver, being the price for which he was betrayed, changed the course of history.

Second: In the 21st century, before marking the rise of the thirty-year-old Jesus Christ from the dead, a twenty-year-old man and a thirty-year-old man sneaked into the churches of Egypt and killed as many people as they could. This is a criminal act that indicates a premeditated, clear, and explicit evil intended not only to eliminate others but to get rid of the religious pluralism that characterizes our Middle East. Twenty- and thirty-year-old people get recruited and pack their bodies with explosives to kill innocent people. Woe to our humanity which robbed the minds of young people in these brutal ways. We plead with the Almighty God to change the hearts and minds, and restore them from darkness and injustice to humanity.

Third: Every day we hear reports about suicide attempts and drugs. The most painful reports are those taking places in houses, as there are families living within the walls of their houses who lost the "sweetest" thing, namely love. In the absence of love, hatred and crime do emerge. May God have mercy on the victims of hatred, particularly in these houses where we have to restore hope.

Fourth: Good Friday’s meditations on the 14 Stations of the Way of the Cross at the Colosseum where Christians used to be killed in the first century , have been entrusted by Pope Francis to French Biblicist Anne-Marie Pelletier. A meditation says:
"Lord Jesus, beloved Son, you came to us, doing good in our midst and leading back to life all those who dwell in the shadow of death. You peer into the abyss of our hearts. We claim to be on the side of good and to desire life. But we are sinners and accomplices of death. We call ourselves your disciples, but we take paths that lead far from your thoughts, your justice and your mercy. Do not abandon us to our violent ways. Do not lose patience with us. Deliver us from evil!"

Fifth: This year's Easter is celebrated jointly by all the Christians regardless of the Gregorian or Julian calendars. The dome of the Holy Sepulcher shines again at a time we need to restore the atmospheres of unity throughout the year rather than in a single day of the year. In one of the houses of Egypt hope emerges. Thus, hope was made available by "the thirty-year-old Man who placed it in the hearts of His beloved. Amidst all the speeches of condemnation as well as cries of pain and separation, the voice of the wife of one of the martyrs resonated in the Egyptian Tanta church saying: "I forgive." With forgiveness you can complete the course of your life.

O thirty-year-old Man who rose from the dead, thank you.

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