[COLUMN] Easter message

“We belong to God and to one another.” This has been Pope Francis’ message to the world, as Austen Ivereigh conveys in his new book, “First Belong to God, On Retreat with Pope Francis.” It is a message that captures the essence of our celebration of    Easter: Christ rose from the dead, offering the promise of eternal life to those who believe in him and embody this belief through acts of love, mercy, forgiveness, and compassion towards others. We belong to His Kingdom of peace, love, and justice, not merely in the afterlife but also in the present moment. Therefore, our relationship with God should transform how we relate to one another as a human race. To nurture our human connections, we must deepen our union with God.

Our world, both the current generation and the next, must be infused with the Spirit of the Risen Christ and the teachings of the Gospel to withstand the destructive forces and consequences of wars, conflicts, divisions, hatred, greed, immorality,  physical and spiritual poverty. That’s why as a church, we are steadfast in bringing the message and example of Jesus Christ to life in our society and the world. We do not apologize for our zeal; rather, we are dedicated to our mission. We firmly believe that it is through embracing the teachings of Jesus Christ that our lives can be enriched with life, peace, justice, and happiness.

This Easter, our hope and prayer are for a humanity ignited with the Spirit of the Risen Christ. We must not allow the intense secular influences of the world to strip us of our humanity. We must stand against all forces that degrade the human soul, depriving us, especially the younger generation, of our innate generosity stemming from the acknowledgment of God’s sovereignty and provision in our lives. We acknowledge that everything belongs to Him and that all we possess comes from Him.

As we confront the challenges of our faith in God and the Risen Christ, may this Easter bestow upon us new beginnings of a more faith-filled life, affirming our belongingness to God and to one another.

Have a joyful and faith-filled Easter!

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The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed by the author do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of the Asian Journal, its management, editorial board and staff.

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Fr. Rodel “Odey” Balagtas is the pastor of Incarnation Church in Glendale, California.


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