In a recent interview with Pres. Volodymyr Zelensky, the BBC correspondent asked the Ukrainian leader, “How do you maintain hope in the future, given everything that is happening?” “It’s not hope,” the president replied, “but certainty.” “Of victory?” “Of course!”
Pres. Zelensky is certain that in the end Ukraine will win the war. What could be his basis for such certainty? Is it the extraordinary courage of his people and their unparalleled patriotism; or their massive support from the international community; or his conviction that good will always triumph over evil; or his faith that God is on their side? We do not know. It could be any or all of the above.
We all have our own wars and uncertainties. The world faces a disturbing uncertainty not only of its future, but of its very existence. Scientists have long alerted us of the climate crisis. Today they warn us that if we do not act fast enough, we may already have reached the point of no return. The calamities (flood, landslide etc.) we presently experience attest to this. Likewise, the uncertainly of our country makes us shudder when we think that its future hangs on the kind of men and women we choose on election day.
In our personal life too, we each fight our own battles and uncertainties. The present situation brought about by the pandemic and the economic crisis have worsened and exacerbated our capacity to rise above our misery. In such condition, we too are confronted with the same question, “How do we maintain hope in the future, given everything that is happening?”
Today, we hear once again the original gospel (good news) proclaimed by the angel to Mary Magdalene and the women at the tomb, “Christ is alive!” And because of this, we can say with Zelensky that indeed we have more than hope; we have certainty. But more than Zelensky, we know the infallible reason for our certainty – that Christ is risen and he has conquered death.
The post-synodal exhortation of Pope Francis, “Christus Vivit,” forcefully delivers this message. “Christ is alive, and he want you to be alive. He is in you, he is with you and he never abandons you. However far you may wander, he is always there, the Risen One.” (CV, 1-2)
“Because he lives, there is no doubt that goodness will have the upper hand in your life and that all our struggles will prove worthwhile. If this is the case, we can stop complaining and look to the future, for with him this is always possible. That is the CERTAINTY we have. Jesus is eternally alive. If we hold fast to him, we will have life, and be protected from the threats of death and violence that may assail us in life.” (CV, 127)
Christ is alive, and he lives in us. With such certainty, we know that “all shall be well… and all manner of things shall be well.” (Julian of Norwich)
Live, Jesus, in our hearts… Forever. A Happy Easter to one and all!*