- Fr. Cedric Prakash sj *
Christianity - and very specially the Catholic Church – has been, of late, very much in the news but for the wrong reasons. The growing revelations, of how some Catholic priests
entrusted with the care of children, have sexually abused them, have made millions of the followers of Jesus hang their head down in shame and in contrition.
This Easter season, therefore, provides Christians and others - the time not only to reflect on the meaning of their faith but also to make amends for the sins of the past.
The key challenges of the season are:
Service - in humility and in love, Jesus kneels down to wash the feet of his disciples. An act which is totally unthinkable and unacceptable in his times and perhaps our times too.
This service is not merely symbolic. It transcends the narrow confines of ones' selfishness, prejudice and divisiveness.
It reaches out to the other in a service which protects, motivates and ennobles.
Sacrifice - Jesus' death on the cross is the supreme sacrifice; 'greater love than this has no man than when one lays down his life for others'.
This death reverberates down the centuries. It is not an ordinary one: it is filled with humiliations, excruciating pain and ignominy.
A real victim of vested interests, who could not see him stand up for truth and for justice. This sacrifice, however, was never doomed to failure.
It would bring in rich dividends for human kind.
Solidarity - is at the heart of the Easter message. Jesus sharing his body and blood with all; identifying himself with the suffering of those who
have come to console him; and ultimately providing new hope and new life. A solidarity which is manifested in the triumph
of light over darkness; of immortality over mortality; of life over death.
The challenge of Easter is therefore, our ability to embody and live the values of service, sacrifice and solidarity.
These are truly non-negotiable for all, in order to make of our world a more compassionate, protective and humane place.
Today could be a new beginning! HAPPY EASTER!!!
(* Fr. Cedric Prakash sj is the Director of "Prashant", the Ahmedabad based Jesuit Centre for Human Rights, Justice and Peace)
3rd April, 2010
PRASHANT (A Centre for Human Rights, Justice and Peace)
Hill Nagar, Near Kamdhenu Hall, Drive-in Road, Ahmedabad - 380052