by Rudy López
In a year that has already had more than its fair share of tragedy and crisis from terrorist attacks to the Syrian refugees, from worker abuse to the most divisive and hate-filled presidential campaign of our lifetimes, Easter couldn’t come sooner!
As a Christian, I believe Easter is our greatest day for many reasons. The sacrifice and resurrection of Jesus provides themes that are as relevant today as they were 2,000 years ago. These themes are timeless and universal.
A few of the themes that clearly shine are Hope, Forgiveness, and Purpose.
In the very worst of times for the followers of Christ, when He was murdered on Good Friday and they were in hiding, His resurrection provided the hope they desperately needed. That hope became the seed for what was to become the Christian faith which has spread throughout the world. However, the hope was not just a better tomorrow, but hope in the human spirit. Jesus showed His love and belief in the human race through His passion and in His resurrection and continues to provide hope for millions across the globe.
In some of His last words, Jesus gives us an incredible example of forgiveness when he says; “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” This can be one of the most difficult things for us to do especially when the people we love are the ones being hurt and oppressed. However, forgiving does not mean allowing affliction to continue. In fact, one of the greatest acts of love we can preform is to help those who are doing wrong to see the error of their ways and give them an opportunity to redeem themselves. Forgiveness is one of the most powerful weapons in fighting injustice.
One of the bible passages that hits home for me during the Easter season is in Matthew. Jesus had just spoken of what was to happen to him. Then Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, “God forbid, Lord! No such thing shall ever happen to you.” He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are an obstacle to me. You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do.
Jesus was focused on His purpose and knowing what was to come, he still went to the cross. This determination and focus has served as an inspiration for me to become more clear about my own purpose and to live my life with intention. It isn’t easy and I struggle with this all the time but ask yourself, what type of world would we live in if we all were more clear about our own purpose in life?
Hope, Forgiveness, and Purpose provide a pathway to a rebirth for each of us. Easter marks a momentous occasion to focus on this rebirth. However, we each have an opportunity to experience it every day.
We can choose to live hope-filled lives grounded in intention and purpose. We can choose to forgive those who oppress our brothers and sisters but at the same time work toward their “conversion” of heart so that they may understand and act upon the need for justice, dignity, and respect for all. We can choose to make a difference in the lives of others as well as our own by using the gifts we have and sharing them with others.
This Easter, I ask that you think about how you can take this moment, whether you are Christian or not, to embrace the values represented today. In the face of the abuse of workers, immigrants, and all the other injustice in our world, how can each of us contribute to the rebirth of our nation as a place of hope for all?
It begins with one step at a time. It begins with you.
Rudy López is the Executive Director of Interfaith Worker Justice.