Editorial: Easter comes early this year
Easter Sunday has come early this year.
The date for Easter, when Christians the world over celebrate the resurrection, was set by the First Council of Nicaea in 325 AD as the first Sunday after the first full moon of the spring equinox, according to The Christian Post.
The lunar calendar has determined that Easter will be celebrated in March this year.
The celebration comes a little more than a month following the visit of Pope Francis to Juarez. During that visit, Francis continued to put forth a message of mercy and deliverance for the poor, the incarcerated and others living in the humblest of circumstances.
“That was the focus of his trip,” said the Most Rev. Oscar Cantú of Las Cruces, one of two U.S. bishops assigned to accompany Francis on his trip. “He didn’t go to resorts, he went to visit the people who were suffering the greatest. He really put his money where his mouth is ... to visit the people who have felt the most excluded.”
In his Easter message last year, Francis spoke out for the defeated and hopeless throughout the world – Ebola victims in Africa, refugees fleeing Syria, and those caught in conflicts from South Sudan to Venezuela and Ukraine.
This year, the peace of Easter week was shattered by terrorists in Belgium who saw so little hope for their own lives that they were able to blow themselves up for the sole purpose of inflicting suffering on others whom they had never met.
But, as Francis reminded us, today is a day for hope and renewal.
“This event is the basis of our faith and our hope,” he said in his Easter message last year. “If Christ were not raised, Christianity would lose its very meaning; the whole mission of the Church would lose its impulse, for this is the point from which it first set out and continues to set out ever anew.”
The resurrection is the ultimate victory of love over hatred, he said.
“The message which Christians bring to the world is this: Jesus, Love incarnate, died on the cross for our sins, but God the Father raised him and made him the Lord of life and death. In Jesus, love has triumphed over hatred, mercy over sinfulness, goodness over evil, truth over falsehood, life over death.”
“That is why we tell everyone: ‘Come and see!’ In every human situation, marked by frailty, sin and death, the Good News is no mere matter of words, but a testimony to unconditional and faithful love: it is about leaving ourselves behind and encountering others, being close to those crushed by life’s troubles, sharing with the needy, standing at the side of the sick, elderly and the outcast… ‘Come and see!’: Love is more powerful, love gives life, love makes hope blossom in the wilderness.”
He ended his message with this:
“Lord, we pray to you for all the peoples of the earth: you who have conquered death, grant us your life, grant us your peace!
“Dear brothers and sisters, Happy Easter!”
This editorial was written by the Las Cruces Sun-News.