Easter Message by Reverend Archbishop Julian Leow

 

My dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

“We are an Easter people and ‘Alleluia’ is our song!” The great St Augustine of Hippo wrote these words more than 1700 years ago and these words have resonated to people through the ages down to our own time and remains as relevant today as ever.

Being an Easter people means that resurrection is part of our life experience. Easter is about life, new life, about Jesus risen from the dead, giving us hope when things feel hopeless, courage when we want to run away, confidence when we are vulnerable and strength in the face of adversity. Easter calls us to look for life among the living with grateful and joyful hearts. Easter calls us to move beyond the tomb and share the good news of the Resurrection with one another. Easter calls us to courageously follow Jesus Christ, the risen one, and to boldly proclaim that out of darkness and suffering comes new life.

The power of Easter is the power of the Risen Lord, who grants us the graces to know and experience faith, hope love, forgiveness, unity, hope, peace, glory, and ultimately God Himself. The Resurrection of Jesus is the very foundation of our faith and it is like a lighthouse, beaming forth the light of hope. Hope is one the three pivotal virtues we live by — faith, hope and love. Faith is what enables us to believe in our God; love is the bond which keeps us close to God, but it is hope that helps us to keep believing and keep loving when darkness descends or the cross becomes too heavy.

Whatever the circumstances — there is unfathomable hope. There is hope for those on the peripheries of society; hope for governments and leaders; hope for the Church; hope for you and for me striving to lead a holy life (cf. Jeremiah 29.11).

The message of Easter is equally relevant to us as a nation. It should give us the assurance that we are able to overcome the adversities that we face in our country. As a nation, we must and can eradicate poverty. We must and can put an end to the destruction of our environment. The message of Easter must encourage us to put an end to all moral ills; it is time to turn our backs on dishonesty, bribery and corruption, violence and vengeance. The message of Easter must help us to turn our efforts in healing the wounds of division, reconciling broken families and reuniting communities.

This year, Easter comes in the midst of the general election campaign where many politicians, old and new, are encouraging us to trust them. Easter, politics and trust — can they go together? Yes! Because the resurrection of Jesus, amazing as it seems to be, is about human transformation reaching its fullness of life in God. It is about healing that which is wounded; it is about forgiving that which is wrong; it is about upholding justice and uplifting the oppressed and down-trodden and above all, it is about trusting that there is a better way for us to live together as Malaysians.

The resurrection of Jesus is God’s response to polarity, divisiveness, racial and religious enmity. As the Easter people of today, let us continue to trust the message that changes lives. Let us work for understanding, dialogue and mutual respect between people of different faiths and in our own communities. Let us pray for our nation and for our politicians that they would be guided towards working for a fair, just and harmonious society in which the gifts and contributions of all people can flourish, and the tares of alienation and extremism find no soil in which to take root.

May we all be renewed and transformed this Easter. May we in turn renew and transform others. May we bring light in the darkness and hope where there is none. May we be the Easter people and proclaim that ‘Alleluia is our song’.

May you — in your families, in your religious communities, in parishes and throughout the archdiocese, find joy and peace this Easter. May the joy and light of the Risen Christ fill your lives and families with many spiritual blessings and grace.

Blessed Easter.

Yours affectionately,

+ Most Rev Julian Leow Beng Kim, D.D.

Archbishop of Kuala Lumpur