Fr. Jean-Philippe Lokpo, mccj is the pastor at St. John XXIII Parish in Evanston, Illinois.
An Easter Message from Fr. Jean-Philippe Lokpo, MCCJ
Easter is upon us, let us rejoice and be glad! Alleluia! Indeed, Easter is the day we rejoice and give thanks to God for our new life in Christ, our Risen Savior.
Before Lent, we read in the book of Genesis about God’s creation of nature and humankind. We contemplated God’s divine plan made manifest in the beauty and wonder of nature. God gave us life so that we may enjoy happiness in communion with Him.
However, through our disobedience, sin and death came into the world. Because of God’s infinite love for us He sent his only begotten Son, to repair the broken relationship. Through His death and resurrection Jesus frees us from sin and restores us to life.
This is Easter! A celebration of life, the anticipation of our resurrection, the victory over suffering and death. “But God’s love and mercy have been poured out for all and to all. No longer do sin and death have power over us. A new day dawn, for new life has dawned for us all of us: a life is God’s tender loving care that survive sin and overcome death. The crosses we carry- our fears and our struggles, our sorrow and our traumas are united with the Cross of our Lord, which did not end in pain and death but with joy and life.” Pastoral patterns, spring 2023, p 48.
These crosses become an impediment for life to spring forth and reach its full potentials. Therefore, as Mary Magdalene witnessed the roll back of the stones blocking the new life to come out, so we too are inviting to roll back the stones of different crosses in our lives to allow the Easter newness and life to come out.
“On the first day of the week, Mary of Magdala came to the tomb early in the morning, while it was still dark, and saw the stone removed from the tomb.” (John 20:1) From the Tomb came new life, new beginning, and the defeat of the force of death. We are victorious with Jesus Christ.
I pray that our Lord’s resurrection will strengthen our hope so that “the peace that surpasses all understanding will guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6)
Renewed by this hope God asks us to share with others the gospel message of salvation, the good news by becoming an evangelizing community and person serving God, humanity, and creation.
1) We are an evangelizing community serving God – when we truly give our hearts, time, energy as joyful disciples of Christ. When we make God center of all we do and profess our faith in Jesus Christ alone.
2) We are an evangelizing community serving humanity – when our faith allows us to see each other as brothers and sisters, when we recognize each other as members of God’s family, serving each other with love, mercy, forgiveness, and compassion.
3) We are an evangelizing community serving creation – when we truly become good stewards of God’s creation, promoting the co-responsibility of taken care of our common home, and where Laudato Si takes root.
I wish you all a happy and blessed Easter season and may the risen Lord be with you and your family.