Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen”(Luke.24:5). This year we make this joyful proclamation at a time when we as the Church in Sri Lanka focus our attention on St. Joseph Vaz who made Jesus Christ alive in our midst, states Rt. Rev.Dr.J.Winston S.Fernando S.S.S., President, Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Sri Lanka and Rt. Rev.Dr.D.Valence Mendis, Secretary General,Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Sri Lanka in a release.
The release adds: “Easter is an experience for us to discover the joy of believing in Jesus by being in solidarity with the poor and the marginalised. It also invites us to discover that our faith in Jesus is an inestimable gift given to each and everyone of us. Easter is quite a fitting season to thank God for our faith in the person of Jesus, the Christ. God has bestowed upon us this unique gift of our faith in God’s only begotten Son.
“Thus, we also need to thank all those who were in strumental in communicating to us this gift of our faith. The unparalleled mission accomplished by Fr.Joseph Vaz in rekindling the gift of faith echoes in our minds as we renew our faith in Christ in this Easter.
“This is also a suitable time for us Priests, Religious and Laity to rededicate our missionary commitment in the footsteps of St. Joseph Vaz, the Apostle of Sri Lanka.
The Risen Lord appeared to His disciples and granted them the gift of peace. True peace is an outcome of justice. We celebrate this Easter at a time in which the people in our country are searching for new paths to establish justice and truth. There is an effort to develop solidarity and reconciliation among the people in our motherland. This could be done only if we respect one another avoiding petty differences and safeguarding each other’s dignity. At this Easter, there, fore let us implore the gift of peace and justice upon our dear country and its people.
“While we thank God and rejoice in the unique gift of peace, let us also be mindful of those who suffer for the lack of the basic requirements of life. In spite of the different schemes for economic development, most of our people seem to be entrenched in poverty.
“Our Christian discipleship always invites us to care for those in need since it is our duty to recognise the face of Jesus in those who suffer. Our Easter joy must make us recognise ever more deeply the demands of Christian discipleship. We need to do all we can to alleviate the pains of those around us. May they recognise in and through us the joy and the beauty of believing in Jesus and in becoming his disciples. May we become the agents of the peace the Risen Saviour communicated to His disciples.
“We wish all our faithful and our readers the joy and the peace of the Risen Saviour!” (CDN)