The GeezRite of the Ethiopian and Eritrean has a famous Easter chant sang with drums and traditional cymbals: “For us, who believe in your resurrection, shed your light upon us.” The theological and ordinary understanding of Easter is “light”. Commonly, people talk of “Resurrection has dawned”, and greet each other “thanks to the Almighty who brought us to the resurrection light”, etc. With the Resurrection of Christ, the passage from darkness to light is the most important phenomenon in both the biblical and human history. All the prophecies were fulfilled; the covenant and the history of salvation reach their completion. Salvation dawned on humanity when Jesus of Nazareth rose from death. The Son of God, the Christ, the Anointed, brought light to the world. And that makes Easter the most important feast of Christian faith.
Easter is the greatest and the most important feast in the Church that brings joy and sense of relief. The famous contemplative Franciscan, Richard Rohr refers to Easter as “Dying into Life.” The Good News of Easter is that nothing can destroy us: not pain, sin, rejection, betrayal or death, because, Christ has conquered all these, and we, too, can! As far as our faith is anchored on this Light, at the end of the day, we remain winners always. If we are to speak of miracles, the most miraculous thing of all is that, God uses the very thing that would normally destroy us, thus, the tragic, the sorrowful, the painful and the unjust, to transform and enlighten us. We become indestructible and there are no absolute dead ends. This is what we mean when we say we are “saved by the Death and Resurrection of Jesus.”
Most of us probably grew up thinking that the Resurrection was a one-time miracle about Jesus, an anomaly that proved he was God. But, Jesus is actually naming and revealing what is happening everywhere and all the time. Jesus’ resurrection is a statement about how reality works: always moving towards resurrection. As per the Catholic funeral preface, “Life is not ended but merely changed.” This is the divine mystery of transformation, which is entirely evident in the physical universe. That is why we believe in the physical resurrection of Jesus, even if it is a new kind of physicality, which Paul struggles to describe (1 Corinthians 15:35ff).
This issue carries the painful reality of corruption and public wealth diversion by many African leaders and their elite while the common people are immersed in poverty. Eritrea, for example, has precious gold in the surrounding of Bisha. But, so far, the mine has brought no relief to the country. It is among the poorest country in the world. In the same way, Katanga province in the Democratic Republic of Congo is blessed with enormous natural wealth, including vast deposits of precious minerals such as diamonds, gold and tantalum. Katanga saw a spectacular mining boom around the turn of the century, when President Laurent-Desire Kabila and then his son Joseph Kabila licensed international mining companies to tap into its treasures.
This arrangement generated riches for the Congolese elite and vastly, more for the prospectors, but offered little to the poverty-ravaged population.
From 1999 to 2002, the Kabila regime “transferred ownership of at least $5 billion of assets from the state-mining sector to private companies under its control… with no compensation or benefit for the State treasury,” a United Nations investigation found.
May the Light of Christ shine on us and, more so, dawn on our political leaders!!! Happy Easter!
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