Wednesday, April 20, 2011

EASTER: Reconciliation, Resurrection, Rebirth, Renewal

Christianity is all about Truth, Faith, Love, Justice, and Charity.

Perusing the files and historical documents that I have in my possession, I pretty much decided to write in some detail about the fake medals of Marcos. This would be a follow-up of some articles that I had already written earlier and also in response to  the Marcos family’s insistence and the majority of the Philippine Congressmen’s resolution urging P-Noy to approve the burial of Marcos as a hero at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.

It would still be consistent with our Christian Faith because I would be  reminding the Filipino people the truth about a historical distortion that could be perpetuated if left untold and unchecked. It would also be in the interest of justice and for the sake of new and future generation of Filipinos.

But somehow, this Holy Week reminded me about my priorities in life. Yes, I would still be Christian. Yes, I would still be writing about Truth, Faith, Love, Justice and Charity. Yes, I should instead be writing about the week’s celebration of Christ’s Resurrection, most specifically, EASTER – its factual origin and its meaning. It would be positive, loving, faithful, informatively truthful and most especially charitable as I postpone to another day my planned Marcos essay.

Easter’s Origin       

My readings tell me that the feast day of Easter was originally a pagan celebration of renewal and rebirth. It honored the pagan Saxon goddess Eastre. When the Saxons were converted to Christianity by early missionaries, and since the feast fell around the same time as the traditional memorial of Christ’s resurrection from the dead, the latter was merged with the pagan celebration.

The other pagan roots of Easter actually date back to ancient times. It has something to do with Nimrod, the grandson of Noah (known for the Global Flood and the ARK). When Nimrod died, his wife, Queen Semiramis deified him and created a religion in his name. Semiramis’ had an illegitimate son, Tammuz. She convinced her people that the latter was actually Nimrod reborn. Since the people were “looking for the promised savior, they were also persuaded to believe that Tammuz was that savior, even that he had been supernaturally conceived.”

Semiramis herself was worshipped as the goddess of fertility. As such, she was called in several places as “Ishtar, Ashtur and yes, EASTER.”

As Christians, we are very familiar with the events during the last days of Jesus Christ’s mortal life leading to  His resurrection starting from Palm Sunday when He rode triumphantly into Jerusalem where He was greeted warmly by the crowd; Holy Monday when He overturned the tables of the moneychangers and freed the animals to be slaughtered; Holy Tuesday when the Pharisees tried to trap Him into making a blasphemous remark; “Spy Wednesday” when Judas Iscariot betrayed Jesus by revealing to the chief priests  where Jesus could be captured; Maundy or Holy Thursday when the Last Supper was held; Good Friday when the  crucifixion happened at the top of the Calvary hill outside the walls of Jerusalem and correspondingly His death; and Holy Saturday or the eve of Easter which marked the end of the 40 day Lenten season.

We Christians, by Faith, believe and know that these events actually happened. They were recorded in the books of history, the Holy Bible, and in religious ancient archives. It is indeed hard to imagine how a finite and mortal being could possibly endure the pain and suffering that Jesus endured on the cross.

This is why in certain Christian nations like the Philippines, some people display their Christian faith by reenacting Jesus Christ’s suffering. They actually undergo crucifixion and flagellation like Him as public penance or penitential acts.

My mother used to say, “Everyone in the course of their lives will have a cross to carry. It could happen early, in the middle, or later in one’s life, but it will happen.”

My father followed this up by saying, “There are no such things as failures. There are only suspended successes.”

This is true not only because we were created in God’s image but more so because we are encouraged, motivated, inspired and actually “destined” to mirror His life as true Christians. Who was it who said, “Destiny is not a matter of chance but a matter of choice. It is not to be awaited; it is to be achieved”?

Easter Sunday 

While it is true that part of the mortal life of Jesus Christ was about pains, sorrows, and sufferings, it was as true that it was full of wondrous and glorious moments, a happy and joyful ending, and an absolutely and infinitesimally bright future.

How else would you describe the numerous miracles, the inspirational sermons, the knowledge transfers, the networking, the wedding receptions, the unlimited supply of wine, bread and fish, the life stories of various people touching His life, and of course, the Resurrection and the Ascension?

His story should also be our story. Cleansing ourselves through the Sacrament of Reconciliation, we atone for our sins; we carry our crosses and expect a rebirth and renewal of our lives, not unlike the resurrection of Jesus Christ, for a joyous and happy ending.

Yes, Easter really means Reconciliation, Resurrection, Rebirth, and Renewal.

No comments:

Post a Comment