Fr. Alfred is a Comboni Missionary priest working in Old Fangak, South Sudan. In this picture from 2017, he is blessing palms for Palm Sunday.
Fr. Alfred baptizes a South Sudanese man in Old Fangak in March of 2022.
My dear friends in the Risen Lord:
On the first Easter morning the sorrowing women came to anoint the body of Jesus and are greeted with the astonishing words of the angel: “Why do you search for the Living One among the dead? He is not here. He has been raised up.” (Luke 24:5-6)
What surprising news. With their mouths at this astonishing news they must have asked in their hearts the question WHAT? But because of their faith in the Lord it was marvelous,” GOOD NEWS.” Easter is a time of great joy. Christ, our hope, is risen! Imagine the joy of the apostles, the women, the disciples, and of Mary, His Mother. All of them ready to go around the world singing His glory and announcing His message of redemption and salvation.
I believe that is the same joy I have that has filled my heart, and that has inspired me to live my religious missionary life in the mission; even though it sometimes difficult – marked with all kind of difficulties such as, war, famine, diseases etc.
We are all the children of God. Today this victory is ours if we embrace with faith the Easter events. Jesus rose from the dead for you and me! In the Risen Jesus, God comes into our lives. He shapes our destiny. He cares for us, loves us, heals us, strengthens us, walks with us on our pilgrim way.
The challenge of Easter is to decide whether we want to live in the Risen Christ or not. The life, joy, and peace of Easter are ours. We should not allow the trials and challenges of this life destroy our hope in the life guaranteed to us by the Good News of Easter.
In struggling to make this world respond to God’s expectation for justice and peace, especially in South Sudan; and in struggling to banish oppression, hunger, disease and war from the face of the earth we become Good Samaritans. We allow ourselves be moved by the wonderful gift of God’s Mercy and compassion on the cross, and go back across the road, especially if we are tempted to pass by our brothers and sisters mostly in-needy of our help.
One of the most dramatic signs of our time is the presence of people on the move. There are more internally displaced people or refugees in the world now than ever. Perhaps nowhere is this more evident than the plight of the South Sudan refugees, and the war which has displaced 12 million people. Therefore, we must always nourish, through prayer and service to others, the hope we have through the Risen Christ for achieving His “New Life” (I Cor. 15:15). This is hope in the true and real promise of the Gospel, the possession of everlasting life in joy and peace with God. Let us ask the Lord to make us peacemakers in our homes, communities, and in our society.
Let us ask Him to make us true Christians who live the Gospel, who love the poor and care for the needy. Let us be people whose primary purpose is to build up the Kingdom of God, which is “justice, love and peace,” so that the true meaning of Easter will be realized in the lives of all humankind. On Easter Sunday the Risen Lord says to each of us, “Peace be with you” (John 20:29). May we know and cherish that peace and love in its vision every day of our lives.
Truly He Is Risen, Alleluia, Alleluia!
Fr. Alfred Mawadri