Issued by the Catholic Center for Studies and Media - Jordan. Editor-in-chief Fr. Rif'at Bader - موقع أبونا

Published on Monday, 17 April 2023

Five Easter candles

Fr. Dr. Rif'at Bader :

The first candle is from noble Jerusalem which celebrated Easter over the course of two weeks. The first week was dedicated to churches that follow the Western calendar, and the second week followed the Eastern calendar. There are several rites that are marked according to church traditions, as well as according to the "status quo", which has been established hundreds of years ago. Of course, there are obstacles imposed by the occupation authorities, which we followed on media outlets, that stand in the way of the celebrations of the feast including harassment, in addition to limitation of the numbers of worshippers, and their movement. However, the city of Jerusalem remains the starting point, the jewel, and the nucleus from which the light of the Risen Christ spread. Therefore, the holy city has the right to preach the resurrection to the world, and at the same time to call for its own resurrection.


The second candle is the candle of our celebrations in Jordan as it has a special splendor, because Jordan is the first country in which the Christians unified the two calendars for celebrating Easter at one time, and that was nearly half a century ago, while the countries of the world wanted to follow the same model by stating: "I want to became like Jordan." May the Lord inspire rulers and heads of churches to truly become “like Jordan,” by unifying the feasts by not having it confined to calendars, but also with the unity of hearts.


The third candle is the well-wishes messages sent over the past years by electronic means. In this way we laud these technological developments that have contributed to bringing people closer together. So, humans no longer feel that they are strangers or far from their fellow brethren, especially the members of the same household who share daily their news, pictures, and audio-visual messages that reach them to express their spiritual closeness despite their geographical distance. Thanks to the technology that engulfed the holidays with a special splendor, especially with regards to the well- wishes during feasts.


The fourth candle is the well-wishes message sent to us from Lebanon as Dr. Moahmmad Al-Sammak, secretary general of the Islamic-Christian National Dialogue Committee, has been sending annual messages marking the feasts of Christmas and Easter.  This feast is celebrated while our Muslim brethren mark the last 10 days of the Holy month of Ramadan.  He says: “On the glorious Easter, may God turn it into a feast of love, goodness, and hope for you and all people. I recall what is mentioned in the Holy Qur’an: 'As Allah said, 'O Isa, (Jesus) surely I will let you die, raise you up to Me, and I am purifying you of the ones who have disbelieved, and I am making the ones who have closely followed you above the ones who have disbelieved until the Day of the Resurrection. Thereafter to Me will be your return; so I will judge between you as to whatever you used to differ in.' (3:55)  Have a happy Feast with best regards."


The fifth candle is from the Vatican, and specifically from its official balcony, where Pope Francis annually releases his message titled: “To the city, namely Rome, and to the world.” This year, his message did not exclude reference to several Arab countries, where he asked for prayer and support, especially first for the Holy Land, in order to restore the desired and necessary climate of trust and mutual respect needed for the resumption of dialogue between the Israelis and the Palestinians. He also prayed for Lebanon that is still searching for stability and unity, so that it would overcome divisions and all citizens would work together for the common good of their country. Syria was not excluded from the prayers due to the political situation that has not yet settled, as well as following the difficult humanitarian situation that resulted the earthquake that struck Turkey and Syria, where he prayed for those who lost their families and friends and were left homeless, so that they may receive consolation from God and help from the extended family of nations. The Arab world is not excluded from the prayers and sincere intentions of the heads of churches and religions in the world. God listened to their prayers, as well as engulfed our region and the whole world with goodness, tranquility, and peace.