PAINT THE RISEN LORD

Easter Sunday of the Lord’s Resurrection     

            There was an Italian painter named Tommaso Campanella who told and exhorted his fellow Italian artists of his time: “Paint Christ not dead but risen. Paint Christ not inside but outside the tomb.” “Paint Christ laughing at the broken rock that was placed to keep him in his tomb.” “Paint Christ as Conqueror of death and Lord of life!” “Paint Christ as the Lord who won over death and proved that he had the power to redeem and save!”

            We may not be painters or artists, but Campanella’s exhortation is also for us: Paint Christ not dead but risen! Paint him not inside but outside the tomb! Paint him as Conqueror of Death and Lord of Life! Is this the image of Christ ‘painted’ in your person right now? Is it visible in your spirit or aura or mood? Is it portrayed in your smiling face and beaming eyes?

            St. Augustine says, “We are Easter people and Alleluia is our song.” We are not Good Friday people; we are Easter Sunday people. We should live in the gladness and joy and hope of Easter Sunday, rather than in the disappointments and sadness of Good Friday. Our world needs Easter. We need it more than we realize. In our world that is filled with bad news we struggle and strain to hear some good news. We need to take to heart the good news of Christ’s Resurrection and we need to share this good news to the world.

            Again, let us paint Christ risen… outside the tomb… Conqueror of death and Lord of life. If our personal life is colored with loneliness and sadness, let us paint it with the joy of the risen Lord – joy that is rooted in God’s loving presence in our life. Or if it is tinted with doubt, confusion, and uncertainty, let us paint it with the light of the risen Lord that we may be enlightened and see more clearly, that we may discover the proofs of God’s love for us. If our home is gloomed by a serious illness of a member of the family or darkened by the pain of loss of a loved one due to death, let us paint it with the healing love of the risen Lord – let us believe that whatever God wills for us is the best for us. Or if it is darkened by resentment, bitterness, or unforgiveness which creates animosity and threatens to break it up, let us paint it with the forgiving love of the risen Lord – let us pray for healing and reconciliation in our family.

            It is said that Easter is not a noun; it is a verb. We must let Christ ‘easter’ in us – to rise in us. Let me add: It is not just an event we commemorate; it is an action of God that we must let to happen in us. It is not just a day in our calendar; it is a way of livinga principle of life we live by everyday. It is not just about the promise of our share in the resurrection; it is about the commitment we are asked to make: to let light triumph over darkness, goodness over wickedness, love over hatred, selflessness over selfishness, life over death.

            Easter or Resurrection, indeed, challenges us to “let it happen” to us – to let it constantly renew us and radically change our outlook in life and our way of living.

            Let us allow the power of Christ’s Resurrection to ‘resurrect’ us from our own experiences of death – be it from a traumatic, agonizing experience, be it from a devastating defeat or failure, be it from a failed and broken relationship, be it from a bitter separation or divorce, be it from a shattering loss of a loved one.

            Let us allow the power of Christ’s Resurrection to constantly renew us and give us new life – give us strength in our hardships and struggles, give us determination in our long and arduous journey, give us hope in our despair and depression, give us inspiration to stand and rise again after failing, give us courage to follow Jesus closely and faithfully.

            Let us allow the power of Christ’s Resurrection to enable us to face this pandemic with faith and trust in God. Wherever and whenever there is this power that cannot be overcome and frustrated, we have the resurrection action happening again.

            Let me say again what could be the practical meaning of Easter in our lives: each time we fail and try again, we share in the power of the resurrection. Each time we pick up the pieces, wipe our tears, face the sun, and start again, we share in the power of the resurrection. Wherever and whenever there is this power that cannot be frustrated, we have the resurrection event happening again. The message is clear: We too can be resurrected. Christ shares his Resurrection with us. We too can rise out of those tombs that try to imprison us! Christ rises, and so can we. We too can have new life. We too can make a new start.

            Si Kristo ay muling nabuhay! Nais niya na tayo rin ay muling mabuhay. Hayaan natin ang Panginoong muling nabuhay na buhayin din tayo.          

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