Our day to cherish

”I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.”

This was, according to St. Matthew, the final message Jesus of Nazareth gave his disciples before he ascended into heaven.

His disciples had heard Jesus make wonderful promises earlier as he ministered in the hills of Galilee. Some of what He did was miraculous – restoring life to Lazarus, giving sight to another and cleansing yet another of leprosy. They also listened closely as he talked of peace, of having love for one another and of putting to rest the nature within us, which is ugly and undesirable, and giving life to a self that is loving and good.

Holy Week had started wonderfully with Galileans welcoming Him to Jerusalem with shouts of ”Hosanna: Blessed is the King of Israel that comes in the name of the Lord.” It ended with Jesus crucified, nailed to a cross at Calvary, and even the most faithful of his followers could not ignore the doubt they felt in their hearts. They had expected to witness the arrival of the kingdom of God, and instead, this.

But on the third day, on that joyous first Easter, when He overcame death and opened the way to eternal life, a remarkable transformation came over His followers. Their faith was galvanized and they began spreading word of the Messiah, of his teachings.

”I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.”

This statement of fact is what keeps bringing the faithful to hear the jubilant message in Christian churches across the area today that is ”He is risen!” Whatever liturgy is followed, Easter is the most significant holy day of the Christian calendar, for it marks the advent of salvation for mankind through the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus.

Today Christians reaffirm the hope and reassurance found in the words of Easter’s central figure: ”I am the Resurrection and the Life.”