As we prepare to celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, it is tragic that we also continue to see an intensification of war and carnage throughout the world. Most recently, we were aghast to hear about the Palm Sunday bombing and murder of Coptic Christians in Egypt by ISIS militants. We were equally horrified as we learned about the gassing of dozens of Syrians by their own president, Bashar al Assad. These are hardly signs of the new life that Christ brought us in his Resurrection.
These attacks bring to the fore the painful reality that there are people throughout the world who are living Good Friday, or, more appropriately, the reality that Christ is living Good Friday in people throughout the world, for we believe that Jesus is present in a special way in those who suffer. In his Palm Sunday message, Pope Francis affirmed this when he said that Christ is “present in our many brothers and sisters who today endure sufferings like his own.”
As we hear about suffering in the world, we might be tempted to believe that evil will win the day. However, the mystery of Easter is that God defeated evil through the passion, death and resurrection of his Son. Even though there is evil in the world, the Resurrection of Christ was the beginning of the New Creation which will be completed on the Last Day when perfect justice and peace shall reign. We must not lose hope in the face of evil; rather, Christians must continue to work for peace by living the new life that Christ won for us in his Resurrection.