Jesus Has Risen, and, With Him, So Have We.
One of the most remarkable moments in the history of Christianity took place on the days of Easter, which means “passage” or the “Passover,” a period that recalls the liberation of the Hebrews from slavery in Egypt. Jesus Christ, the King of kings and Lord of lords, in His First Visible Visit to planet Earth, was crucified between two thieves. What apparently represented the collapse of the message of Fraternal Love, of Divine Justice, and of the arrival of the Kingdom of God, which the Rabbi of Galilee embodied, became the driving force for the followers of the true Path. The singular fact that ensured this—and that was highlighted by our late Brother Alziro Zarur (1914-1979) and by Brother Paiva Netto—was the Resurrection of Jesus, three days after being nailed to an infamous cross. The Religion of God, of the Christ, and of the Holy Spirit always emphasizes, therefore, that the most hopeful message of the Holy Week is that Jesus Lives! In fact, we need to remember that 39 years ago, on April 1st, 1983 (a Good Friday), in the traditional overcrowded Casa D'Itália, in Salvador (Bahia), Brother Paiva made the extraordinary Proclamation of Jesus Alive, transforming what is known as April Fools’ Day [Day of Lies, in Portuguese] into the Day of Truth.
That is why the Editorial of this edition could be none other than this, which reverberates the author’s old cry that he published in a moving pamphlet he wrote in the early hours of August 25, 1997 (Monday)—“The Message of the Empty Tomb,” included in his future literary work Liderar sob a Proteção de Deus [Leading Under God’s Protection]: “Jesus Has Risen, and, With Him, So Have We! Thank God!”
Read it with all your Soul and be moved by the teachings presented here from the Divine Message of the Cross, which is the uncontested Victory of our Beloved Master over death, and therefore, over the impossible.
Dear Sisters, Brothers, and Friends, the Holy Week invites us to reflect on the meaning of the Resurrection. It contains notable symbolism, even if you do not completely believe in it. No one can deny that it transmits the message of renewed Hope in better days, of Peace, and of Universal Fraternity among peoples, even in the worst human and social conditions.
Jesus, the Ecumenical Christ, the Divine Statesman, the Prince of Peace, has risen, and, with Him, so have we every time we are integrated into His thoughts of Love, Justice, Solidarity, and Generosity. Out of misfortune, from which so many only draw defeats, Jesus, inspired by God, built His Authority and established His Power. Let us learn from Him how to triumph! He was buried; however, He reappeared to the eyes of all three days later. Each one of them corresponds to a member of the Holy Trinity, but in reverse order: The Holy Spirit, Christ, and the explosion of lights when He resurrected in God, the Lord of Life, the Creator of all creatures, the Supreme Architect of the Universe.
Any inspiration for a happy existence should be sought, without sectarian restrictions, in the biblical text in its Divine Part:
“The testimony of Jesus Christ is the spirit of prophecy” (Apocalypse 19:10).
For millennia Prophets have been the guardians of this testament, of the message of Peace, equilibrium, and trust sent by God to the earthly beings. If these prophets had not been courageous, if they had not faced adversities boldly, how would we have inherited the testimony of Christ today? And this testimony did not begin, as some think, in the Gospel according to Matthew. It begins in Genesis, the first book of Moses, because everything was a preparation for the First Arrival of the Heavenly Provider and His Triumphant Return, as the late Proclaimer of the Divine Religion, Alziro Zarur (1914-1979), used to affirm. He also said,
“If Jesus had not resurrected, Christianity would not exist.”
Never fear challenges
When the Master was crucified, His followers were frightened and screamed with grief: “Jesus is dead!” However, He has risen. For this reason we should never fear anything, not even death (without ever provoking it), which is a fatalism for all material existence. Nevertheless, let us not forget that Life is eternal. We do not end in the tomb or serving as food for birds of prey. The body is merely the garment of the Soul. That is why we have the responsibility to take good care of it.
Jesus and the Exaltation of Life
The message of the Holy Week is not one of ruin, but of victory: Victory over death!
In the book O Drama Milenar do Cristo e do Anti-Cristo [The Millennial Drama of Christ and the Antichrist], Huberto Rohden (1893-1981) wrote:
“Christ always resurrects, rising even from closed tombs, sealed and guarded by His enemies. It is prohibited to resurrect, but He always does so . . . His true friends always find Him glorious everywhere and at all times.”
Indeed, against all odds, overcoming dramas, struggles, and wars, the Celestial Thaumaturge rises in the hearts of Goodwill at every moment. It is the triumph of Love, which manifests itself in the most surprising ways, giving continuity to existence. The Passion of Jesus does not sing of death, but exalts life, the Eternal Life.
That is it. Where there is life there is Hope, people say.
Get up and walk, humankind!
In the Holy Gospel of Christ, chapter 9, verses 1 to 8, Matthew reports the following passage:
Jesus Heals a Paralytic
1 Jesus stepped into a boat, crossed over the lake and entered His own town.
2 Some people brought to Him a paralyzed man, lying on a mat. And Jesus, seeing their Faith, said to the man, “Son, take heart; your sins are forgiven.”
3 At this, some of the teachers of the law said to themselves, “This fellow is blaspheming.”
4 But Jesus, knowing their thoughts, said: “Why do you entertain evil thoughts in your hearts?
5 “Which is easier to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven’ or ‘Get up and walk?’
6 “But I want you to know that the Son of God has authority on Earth to forgive sins.” So He said to the paralyzed man, “Get up, take your mat and go home.”
7 And the man got up and went home.
8 When the crowd saw this, they were filled with awe and praised God, who had given such authority to men.
May every creature have the Faith of those who took the paralyzed man to Jesus, to the point of moving the Divine Master, who then ordered him: “Surge et ambula (Get up and walk),” humankind!
This world is a curious place! . . . Multitudes consider themselves to be Christians. But when people talk about the Gospel, there are those who surprisingly exclaim: “Huh?!” The impression one gets is that many have never even opened the New Testament.
Such is the case with the Holy Week. As generations and generations have never studied the Holy Book as they should have done, when peoples reach periods of transition similar to the one we are experiencing now, we see less care being taken in part of the media with the fact that has marked the affirmation of Christianity since its first steps: the Resurrection of Jesus Christ!
Furthermore, many people are accustomed to keeping the image of the crucifixion (death) of Jesus from the Holy Week, even though its great message is to be found stamped in the Resurrection, which is Life, everlasting Life.
The Gospel is not an idle book. Its message permeates Heaven and Earth. Even in territories in which it has set down roots, the Divine Preaching of Jesus urgently needs to carry out its extraordinary mission of civilizing human civilization with the experience of the New Commandment of Christ:
“Love one another, as I have loved you. Only by this shall all of you be recognized as my disciples” (The Gospel according to John 13:34 and 35).
It is a work of patience and perseverance in God.
The philosopher has already said that the most difficult barrier to be overcome is that of the human brain, even in Christian nations. But our determination and will to advance come from the One who carries the Divine Seal of Victory and attested in His Gospel according to John 16:33:
“I have overcome the world!”
For this reason, with Jesus we will always, always, always win!
What a deep feeling arouses within us with the simple remembrance of the magnificent trajectory of the Christ of God, who descended to us so that we could have Spirit and Life, so that the promise we find in Prophet Joel 2:28 and 29 be always fulfilled: “And it shall come to pass afterward that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh; your sons and daughters shall prophesy, your elderly shall dream dreams, and your youth shall see visions. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days.”
Moreover, Jesus, in the Gospel according to Mark 13:11, confirms:
“Whenever you are arrested and brought to trial, do not worry beforehand about what to say. Just say whatever is given you at the time, for it is not you speaking, but the Holy Spirit.”
In His Gospel according to John 11:25 and 26, Christ reveals:
“I am the Resurrection and the Life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live; and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?”
We and so many people around the world loyally utter: Yes, Jesus, we believe! We believe! We believe! And our strength lies in this unbreakable conviction, because we learn with You through Your Beloved Disciple’s writings (John 15:5) that You are the Vine and we are only the branches:
“I am the Vine; you are the branches. Apart from me you can do nothing.”
Therefore, we can do nothing without the Splendorous Power that descends from the Heavenly Father to the Son. And we know this Son is You, the One who sends us the Benevolent Angels, as reveals Paul the Apostle in his Epistle to the Hebrews 1:14,
“to serve those who will inherit salvation.”
These Angels are our Spiritual Friends, Blessed Souls, Protectors, Spirits of God, those who are also part of the Glorious Workers of Saint Francis of Assisi, Patron of the Divine Legion of Good Will, founded on January 1 (Peace and Universal Brotherhood Day), 1950, by the late Brother Zarur.
Every day is an opportunity to start again for those who do not devalue time and promote Peace when remaining in the Accomplishing Faith, which inspires and encourages the practice of Good Deeds, highlighted by Jesus as an incentive for life. He Himself asserts in the Holy Gospel according to Luke 21:19:
“By your perseverance you will save your Souls.”
That is why we affirm:
Whoever trusts in Jesus does not waste time, because He is the Great Friend who never abandons a friend along the way!
Praise the Lord of Peace!
Jesus Lives in our Hearts Forever!