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Easter – it is never too late for new beginnings

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“Up from the grave he arose; with a mighty triumph o’er his foes; he arose a victor from the dark domain, and he lives forever, with his saints to reign. He arose! He arose! Hallelujah! Christ arose!”

The lyrics of this beloved Easter anthem provide a powerful and vivid reminder to Christians of the basis of their faith — which is the promise of eternal life, through Jesus’ death and resurrection.{{more}}

Easter, the most joyous day of the Christian calendar, should also remind and instruct us that amidst suffering, pain and sacrifice, there is hope of restoration and renewal.

Every human being experiences pain and suffering to some degree at different points in life. There are entire societies and nations, whose citizens’ lives have been turned upside down because of war, terrorism, despotic leaders or the spread of contagious fatal diseases. For others, suffering is more personal, but no less profound: the death of a loved one, being stricken by a fatal or debilitating disease, betrayal by a loved one or concerns about how to meet the financial needs of one’s family.

Although pain and suffering are inevitable, no one wishes them upon one’s self or one’s loved ones. Sometimes, as we attempt to comfort those undergoing dark periods in their lives, we glibly say that suffering should be embraced as it results in spiritual growth. However, for those without the power or means to change their circumstances, this response could come across as callous or patronizing, no matter how strong their faith.

Religious scholars and psychologists say growth comes only through an individual’s understanding of his or her own suffering, which for some, may take a lifetime. They say that the love, compassion and practical assistance of those around us is the best nourishment that spiritual growth will get.

Imagine therefore, for example, the tremendous hope this Easter, among Vincentians with diabetic foot ulcers, with the announcement that the Cuban drug Heberprot-P will be introduced here (see page 6). For them, the drug offers hope and the promise of renewal and a better quality of life. The drug holds the promise in a practical sense of much of what Easter signifies spiritually.

So this Easter, as we mark the resurrection of Jesus, let us both rejoice and endure, remembering always that it is never too late for new beginnings.

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