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The Joy of Easter

Apr 8, 2009, 6:29 AM | Article By: Charles Thomas-Sarr

Quia Peccavimus Tibi

The Lenten season is at its climax as Christians everywhere prepare to observe in about a week's time Good Friday and Easter. During the period of Lent, the faithful devote time to their spiritual state, how things might stand in relation to our Maker, and making reparations. For this reason in addition to fasting, abstinence and almsgiving there is prayer and repentance. Because God is so Holy, no one ever actually knows how his or her soul stand with Him; that is to say how the state of one's soul stands in relation to God and what He wants from mankind. Therefore, Lent being a penitential season becomes a time not only for repentance of specific, known, sins but a global type of penitence. And so Christians are accustomed at this time to praying thus: ATTENDE DOMINE ET MISERE, QUIA PECCAMUS TIBI. Such prayers drive from Old Testament penitential Psalms of profound acknowledgement of the poor state of one's spiritual condition in relation to the goodness of God who is all Good and deserving of all our love. We pray therefore: HEARKEN TO US O LORD and HAVE MERCY, BECAUSE WE HAVE SINNED AGAINST YOU. These may be sins of Commission or of Omission and sins whose existence or magnitude we may not fully know about.

The Joy of Easter

Soon the world over will commemorate the crucifixion and death of Jesus.

According to the Christian scriptures, Jesus had to die on the Cross inorder to save the world from sin. He Himself foretold His death and betrayal by one of His own Apostles, Judas Iscariot. He also foretold that on the third day He would rise from the dead.

Both events have since been observed by Christians as two of the greatest mysteries; hence his death Is deemed as one of the five Sorrowful Mysteries while His Resurrection counts as one of the five Glorious Mysteries. By 'Mystery' is meant a high truth beyond human understanding, which has to be believed because it has been revealed by God Himself. Likewise both events have since been observed by fasting, abstinence and penitence for forty days culminating on Good Friday and relieved on Easter. Good Friday is marked by prayer, deep reflection and a replay, if you will, if Jesus' difficult journey from the courtyard of Pontius Pilate, governor of Judea, before whom He was judged and condemned, to Calvary where He finally died. Re-living this experience would for Mary, or all followers, have the effect of reminding oneself how Jesus had suffered and given His life for them; their obligation therefore to rededicate themselves to honouring that great sacrifice, and to living exemplary lives. All in all it is a period of self-mortification, reflection, penitence, asking God for forgiveness and being reconciled with Him. One of the ultimate acknowledgements of the period must be the immense love and mercy of God. And that there is no hope for human salvation without the relenting and oft-returning mercy of God.

On Easter Sunday the mood changes from sorrow to one of great joy because Jesus had risen as He foretold. The Lenten experience ends therefore in triumph of a risen Christ, and with joyous acclamation among the congregation: "Deo Gratias; Alleluia! Which translates 'Thanks be to God, all Praise!'

Christian Panorama would like to seize this opportunity to wish all Christians especially Panorama's fans, a happy Easter and to say 'Deo Gratias' and pray that the virtues and blessings of Lent remain, and that all see many more Easters to come.

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