[PHOTO - Pope Benedict XVI holds the pastoral staff as he celebrates the Easter Vigil mass, in St. Peter's Basilica, at the Vatican, Saturday, April 23, 2011. The pontif began Saturday night's ceremony by lighting a candle that symbolizes the resurrection of Christ, which the faithful mark on Easter Sunday. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)]

MANILA, APRIL 25, 2011 (CBCP NEWS) Let every heart not be troubled (Jn 14:27). Live in peace for today the splendor of life shines forth in the rising of the Lord!

The whole Christendom today commemorates the glorious event of Easter. In Christian tradition, Easter is the earliest feast of the Church regularly celebrated on all Sundays in the entire liturgical year. This feast, known as the mother of all feasts, is specially celebrated at the end of the Lenten Season and Sacred Triduum, and marks the beginning of the Easter Season.

Among Christians, the perpetual celebration of Easter is of great importance. This special occasion draws every believer to contemplate the greatest manifestation of the love of God perfectly revealed in Christ who died for the guilt of humanity and rose to life again conquering the most dreaded sting of death. On this jubilant occasion, everyone, especially the sorrowing and the desolate, is made to witness the dawning of light and to relive the joys and consolation brought by the victory of life.

"He is not here; He is risen (Mt. 28:6)!" From the mouth of a heavenly messenger comes the message of Good News. But, in utter truth, the message was not readily believed. Resurrection then was something beyond human imagination. Perhaps when the women came near the tomb and found Jesus' body gone, they must have first thought that somebody removed His body. It was simply inconceivable—for how can it be? A body so severely beaten and tortured to death unexpectedly rose to life.

At first instance, one can be very unbelieving before this unthinkable phenomenon. In fact, the closest of Jesus' disciples are not exempt to this. They were the first doubters. Jesus' resurrection is simply too good to be true. But the truth of it all, so mysterious though yet irresistibly convincing as it always is, eventually brought them to a full humble assent. If it were a tale meant to be told, it must be the greatest tale founded on barest truth.

However, it is not surprising still that until today some remain in their unbelief for a few reasons: Some were simply deprived of hearing the Gospel; others were too imprisoned to scientific precision as to reject whatever it is that does not appeal to logical category. Atheistic culture nowadays is equally influential; and in a very subtle way, it gradually wears away evangelical values and disproves gospel truths. But for most of us, this disturbing question often continues to confuse us: If Jesus has truly won for us the price of the newness of life and the downfall of the reign of darkness, why then there still seems to be so much evil in the world?

Yes, ours is still a world beset by various forms of evil enslavement. Our Lord himself who became man like us went through even the worst of human degradation and suffering in the hands of a corrupt humanity. His agony in the garden of Gethsemane uncovered human fear in the face of death. But it did not end all there. Jesus after all subjugated the final enemy of men—death. The glorious event of resurrection has once and for all crippled the fortress of darkness. This incorruptible remembrance of God putting an end to the definitiveness of death is a strong message of hope—that in all of this, every work of evil shivers before the power of goodness.

This good news must first and foremost be preached to "the regions beyond us (2 Cor. 10:16)." St. Paul had these encouraging words: "How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things (Rom. 10:15)!" It is equally unjust of us not to proclaim the triumphant joy of Easter to those who are seeking for light and life. To those whose hearts are hardened by pride and humanly motivated principles, let none of us yield to an idle surrender. Let the gospel be preached untiringly.

What awaits us ahead of this earthly life is life in immeasurable abundance. Hence, it is unlikely of us to fear as we preach the truths of our faith. We are now the victorious children of resurrection and we despise every form of attack against the dignity and welfare of humankind. With renewed vigor, let us become builders of social transformation. Let us work for peace that lasts and justice that enhances human condition. Let us not be selfish as to deprive others of their right to live. Let us not be too clever as to deceive others to our own advantage. Let there be Easter in our midst by our presence that loves and cares.

Bishop of Tandag
President - Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP)
Easter 2011


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi
All rights reserved



[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

Recent Activity:
Follow us on Twitter:


To stop receiving our news items, please send a blank e-mail addressed to:

Please visit our homepage at:

(c) Copyright 2009.  All rights reserved.


PH Headline News Online. Copyright 2011 All Rights Reserved