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  • Fr. Daniel Okafor

Fr. Daniel's Corner / May 1, 2022

Easter People, God's Chosen People

The crux of the Easter mystery is that Christians are redeemed to redeem. As civilizations’ rise and fall depend on the quality of citizens, society stands in need of those transformed by the Easter mystery who, in appreciation of their salvation, deploy all resources in their arsenal to bring to bear the salvation so received in the world, and that’s how the universal government of creation runs. As such, the Easter mystery makes the kingdom of this world become the kingdom of our God and of His Christ.

Our world- family, church, schools, nations etc., stands in eager expectation for the revelation of the children of God, of the Easter people (cf. Rom 8:19): those who live in the world as light-bearers and merchants of hope. These Easter people actuate progress, peace, and prosperity through their active participation in the affairs of their society. So, the Easter hope is actuated when Easter people, who are saved to save the world, drawing from their Easter faith, work to realize a free, just, habitable, and prosperous society.

The Easter mystery is an eloquent demonstration that salvation comes from God, who saves and is ever saving with the agency of persons. Thus, in reaping the fruits of salvation wrought by Christ, we who are saved are empowered to be agents of the subjective manifestation of the objective salvation. In this way, the once-and-for-all Easter will bear its fruits in the life of the nation. The Easter mission transforms our world vision from greed to generosity and unmasks our selfishness, which often disguises as generous and selfless service for the common good only to end up preying on the commonwealth. Such an attitude cumulatively harms the human community’s growth, peace, and development. But with their hearts seasoned and minds seized by the Easter mystery, Christians (Easter people) emit a great fire that charges others and illuminates the pathways and alleys of existence with virtues and values.

For this to happen, our spoken word must converge with the Divine Word (Logos). Considering that Logos is at once word, meaning, event, and deed, one easily expects that the true Word of God (Logos) is concrete; He is a person. Logos of God is, therefore, the ensemble of the deeds of God, the instantiation of God’s goodness and knowledge. Consequently, since our spoken word makes intelligible and available the Divine Logos (Word), Easter praise is realized in converting our words of praise into deeds of benediction for all within the influence of such praise. There is no Easter glory in society until the bearers of Easter hope cultivate a Paschal rebirth, renewal, and transformation in society.

This transformation begins with inserting oneself within the currency of the paschal stream of grace, thereby submitting oneself to the lordship of Jesus Christ, the risen one. True Easter people make era-defining impacts that trigger a culture change that promotes excellence. They activate the systems of development and heighten geo-socio-political endeavors, to combat the rapacious exploitation of humans and resources to the detriment of creation. Easter is, therefore, a celebration of the Lord’s radical solidarity with humanity in her dark night of crisis and challenges to save her and reactivate the awareness of the Lord’s radical presence. It is a pedagogy of redemptive solidarity for humans necessary for existence, which flows from and wells up to the Resurrection of Christ. It is within this context that the Easter hope saves society. Because the ensemble of the complex challenges bedeviling humanity is overcome by the Easter mystery, which opens humans to a new life in God that renews and enables them to confront these challenges head-on, the gloom of humanity is through these engagements liquidated by the revelation of the children of God.

Easter people are hope-bearing agents for the world in need of salvation. Where others take pride in disrespect, Easter people treat everyone with honour and regard; where selfishness rules, Easter people lead by sacrifice; where others destroy with anger, Easter people heal with patience; where others are filled with rage and hate, Easter people conquer with love; where others breed animosity, bigotry, and nepotism, Easter people practice love, forgiveness, and trust; where others live in distrust, pride, and fear, Easter people breathe in the fresh air of humility, confidence, and selflessness. Indeed, where others sow confusion, Easter people sow understanding. In sum, the Easter life is a triumph of life over death, generosity over meanness, love over hate, kindness over jealousy, sweetness over bitterness, forgiveness over animosity, humility over pride and selflessness over greed. It contradicts hate, divisiveness, parochialism, consumerism, ethnic chauvinism, religious bigotry, nepotism, marginalization, embezzlement, injustice, meanness, envy, bitterness, and pettiness.

You are one of them, Easter People, God’s chosen People.

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