July 22, 2024
Oyo Diocese Reflections / Sermons

Easter Message of Bishop Emmanuel Badejo

Jesus Is Risen: Let Us All Witness to Hope

Easter Message of Bishop Emmanuel Badejo, Bishop, Catholic Diocese of Oyo, Nigeria

Jesus is risen! He has conquered sin and death and he is alive! He assures us all of the same fate. That is the message of Easter for every human being irrespective of their life condition. However, whereas the event and message of easter is always the same its message is going to be differently received from person to person, from place to place. Easter, the resurrection of Jesus means life, joy victory, freedom, justice forgiveness, compassion and peace. It means that no situation is too hopeless for God to turn around. Unfortunately, not all of us can feel it. In real life around us, many people are bereaved and deprived, many are in captivity, many are sick, many more are hungry and hopeless. Jesus is risen but how much joy can people have when they are under terrorist attacks, bombardment at war or even in the den of kidnappers? What is the meaning of victory and justice for those who cannot afford a decent meal in a day or who though sick, have no means with which to care for themselves? How can prisoners, destitutes and the abandoned feel th power of the resurrection?

This is where Jesus needs all who feel the resurrection joy and life to witness to his power and victory. We must find a way of making the mood of Easter reach all the nooks and crannies of our world and environment. St. Paul tells us that all Christians by virtue of our baptism already share in the life of the risen Christ. Does this not mean that all of us Christians have a huge task to reenact the resurrection all around us? Our duty is to somehow make people feel the earthshaking event of Jesus rising from the dead, that after the great wickedness and injustice of Good Friday, God made Easter Sunday to occur. We need to make people see that the same is possible in their condition. This is the audacity of hope. In Nigeria

We must help people to realize that the suffering of a just man, far from being futile, is always fruitful because like it was with Jesus, it will bring succour and salvation to many. That is the same as saying that the cross Christians carry will always lead to a crown. Jesus himself taught this: โ€œUnless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains a single grain, but if it dies, it will yield fruit in plentyโ€. (Jn 12:24) easter is evidence of this audacity of hope. Yes, no matter what, hope must grow rather than die. In every life there must be a good Friday and sometimes a tomb. I call on Nigerians, as witnesses to the resurrection to help one another to see that the tomb is already empty and that the death of Good Friday lost its sting and ended with Easter Sunday resurrection

So, I appeal to all, make someoneโ€™s burden lighter. Reach out with the Easter mood and message to the less fortunate who may lack faith and hope and may not feel the goodness of Easter as well as you do. Be a witness of goodness, reconciliation, brotherhood, love and faith as ingredients for a better society and future. That is what Jesus died for. That is how we can get eternal life with him. President Joe Biden of the United States of America once related how his father always said to him: โ€œJoe, always keep the faithโ€. And how his grandmother always retorted: โ€œJoe donโ€™t just keep the faith, spread itโ€ Let us make that grandmotherโ€™s principle ours. Like the women who went to the tomb. If you feel Godโ€™s love, joy, compassion or forgiveness, share it with somebody. If you rejoice in Christโ€™s victory and power, help others to feel it too. Tell it all around you that Jesus is risen, alleluia is our song of joy. Do your best to share Godโ€™s compassion with all you have and God will do the rest. Happy Easter for a better Nigeria and a better world!

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