How Do We Reconcile Easter Beliefs with the Easter Bombings?

A Sri Lankan priest reflects on celebrating the Resurrection amid the tragedy of last week’s attacks.

On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.

Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”

-John 20:19-23

Easter Tragedy

We finished our Easter Day Eucharist as usual and shared coffee and cake to celebrate the day of resurrection. There were smiles all around and laughter among the people gathered. After all, this Day of Resurrection, is the day that made us Christians.

The resurrection of our Lord and Master is the highlight of the Christian calendar. It was nothing unusual for us to expect more crowds in church that day. For 40 days we prepared ourselves to celebrate this feast. I even spoke to the choir the day before about the significance of the Easter greeting and the use of the Gloria and the word “hallelujah” after a hiatus of 40 days. It is a joyful, glorious day. In fact, it is such an important festival, that according to the Church Calendar, the festival of Easter is celebrated for 50 days!

Once we completed our rounds of greetings, I began to prepare to take Communion to the sick and invalid of my parish, as I had promised earlier. I went back home, checked my phone, and was surprised by the number of missed calls. Given the holiday, I thought they might have been calls to wish me a happy Easter. …

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