Love and understanding can help in reconciliation
Christian message of love and understanding can help much in the process
of reconciliation now taking place in our country to take us towards a
lasting peace and unity.
Christ's message of tolerance and understanding can also help free
people and nations from the many conflicts that threaten peace today and
also help the crisis faced by society due to the growing belief in
opulence", said President Mahinda Rajapaksa in his Easter message.
The following is the text of the message:
"Christians in Sri Lanka join those of their faith, the world over to
celebrate Easter that marks the resurrection of Jesus Christ after his
crucifixion and death at Calvary.
Jesus Christ, born among humans as the son of God, devoted his years
of preaching the message of love to all beings, in a mission considered
as one to save mankind from the burden of sin; a burden he took upon
His new message of loving one's neighbour as oneself had a resonance
that cut through all social and national barriers, extending to loving
the lowest in society and all beings on earth.
Jesus' teachings among a small community have spread throughout the
world as the foundation of Christianity, which is among the major
religions in the world.
The Christian message of love and understanding can help much in the
process of reconciliation now taking place in our country take us
towards a lasting peace and unity.
Jesus' message of tolerance and understanding can also help free
people and nations from the many conflicts that threaten peace today,
and also help overcome the crisis faced by society due to the growing
belief in opulence.
Today's commemoration of the resurrection of Christ, as it
strengthens the belief of Christians in Sri Lanka in the divinity of
Christ, would help spread his message of love and understanding, and the
need for simplicity in life throughout our land.
I wish you all a happy and peaceful Easter", the message said.
An earnest wish for peace and harmony - PM
is an important festival to us as it is the day when Jesus Christ's
resurrection took place, bringing the message of kindness, equality
among mankind and harmonious living among communities to his spiritual
disciples and people of the world, said Prime Minister D.M. Jayaratne
issuing an Easter message.
He said: "As a nation which suffered immensely within the clutches of
terrorism, and now healing the wounds of heinous atrocities, the lessons
we could learn from the life of Jesus are many. He has taught us to
admit one's mistakes politely and correct and pardon ourselves when and
What is essential is to determine to be a true practising follower of
Jesus and not being Catholic for the sake of the word.
Then only the true meaning of Easter and ambitions and expectations
of Jesus will be accomplished.Let us pray at this Easter for a Sri
Lankan community that is bound together with peace and harmony."
'Let this be a moment for us to be closer to Jesus' - Catholic
Catholic Bishops' Conference in Sri Lanka, in an Easter message signed
by its President His Eminence Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith and Secretary
General, His Lordship Norbert M. Andradi, said: "Once again we celebrate
the most central fact of the Christian Faith: The Resurrection of Jesus.
It is the Lord's Passover, His glorious transition from death to life
and it is so crucial for our Christian existence.
St. Paul affirms that "if Christ has not been raised, then our
proclamation has been in vain and your faith has been in vain" (1
Corinthians 15:14) and that "we know that Christ, being raised from the
dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him"
(Romans 6:9). Let us join with the universal Church and rejoice in the
Lord and thank the Lord for our unique gift of faith in the Risen
As we joyfully celebrate the resurrection of the Lord, let us also
become conscious of the many obligations it carries. It is not to be a
mere external celebrations. It needs to touch and affect our lives. All
of us "who have been baptised into His death" (Romans 6:3), and are
called to share in His resurrection are duty bound to make the Lord's
Passover a reality in our lives by moving from death to life just as He
did. Thus our celebration invites all of us to share in the new life of
However, we realise that our society today abounds with signs of
death as well. The ordinary person, amidst the increasing cost of
living, finds life almost unbearable. Our roads have become increasingly
dangerous and deaths due to road accidents have become most tragic and
alarming. Murders of the innocent have become staggering. Women and our
children in particular have become increasingly vulnerable as instances
of sexual assault have increased.
Blessed John Paul of revered memory exhorted the world that amidst
signs of death that surround us, the Church ought to be at the service
of life (Evanglium Vitae). The Season of Easter is a very apt moment to
be reminded of this very specific evangelical obligation. Our joyful
celebration of the resurrection of the Lord invites us to be at the
service of life while respecting it in all its forms.
This obligation is all the more upon us as we live in the
post-conflict context of Sri Lanka since reconciliation is the greatest
challenge of the hour.
True reconciliation and our journey to the future demands that we
acknowledge the past, however, painful it might be, learn the lessons we
ought to, redress the injustices perpetrated wherever they may be and be
determined not to repeat the same mistakes of the past. We need to let
the blood that flows from the Cross of Christ heal our wounds, mindful
of our Christian obligation to forgive one another just as God has
forgiven us in Christ.
We are called upon to share in the new life of the resurrection with
all those who suffer the pains of death in its multiple forms in our
society today. If true harmony and reconciliation are to become a
reality, we need to recognise the many pains of the poor and the
afflicted of our society. We are duty bound to identify the many wounds
of our society, both past and present, and do all we can to heal them.
Only such an option would enable us to move on effectively to the
Therefore, let us not merely recall the historical resurrection of
the Lord, but really and truly come to experience today the new life it
offers. Thus such a celebration would affect our lives both as
individuals and as community, enabling us to experience the new life the
Despite all the challenges that surround us, the resurrection of the
Lord draws our attention to the most basic facts of our faith. Jesus who
lived among us in time is truly risen and that He is alive in our midst
today. He journeys together with all of us. Let us become truly
conscious of His living presence in our lives today and that He, in and
through us, is involved in making this world a place more pleasing to
Therefore, let this Easter celebration be a moment for us to come
closer to Jesus and be with Him, share in the new life He offers us. Let
us thus become an Easter people and join with Him in the work of
building up His Kingdom, namely making this world of today more in
harmony with the most holy will of God, His Father.
We invite all our faithful to pray for the guidance of the Holy
Spirit, who is the gift of the Risen Saviour, for our leaders and our
people so that we would be engaged in effective and determined efforts
at reconciliation, harmony and unity in our country.
The Catholic Bishops' Conference in Sri Lanka wishes all our faithful
a Happy Easter and an abundant sharing in the new life of the