Just like last year, we are once more celebrating Easter at a difficult time, in the midst of painful circumstances that make life turbulent and uncertain.
Besides separation, isolation, hopelessness or sickness and death in families and church congregations, many of us are experiencing fear and uncertainty. However, the Easter message reminds and encourages us that through Christ, God continues to love and cherish the whole world, overcomes death with life, and conquers fear and uncertainty with hope.
Throughout human history, revolutions have changed political and economic systems. But none of them have been able to change the human heart. The real revolution, which brought radical change to life, happened when Jesus Christ was resurrected. It happened through the CROSS and RESSURECTION. For Christ "Canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross" (Colossians 2:14).
As I do every Easter, I would like to share the good news of the resurrection which is celebrated with a renewed hope in our afflicted but hopeful region with the words, "Kom Moran Men Kabro."
This good news spices up our life while filling our spirit with the warmth of love. That is to say, this good news offers us a comforting and alleviating outlook on the world. This outlook sees unity/uniqueness rather than uniformity/similarity.
This good news helps us to embrace different races, different pasts, different preferences, different styles, different interpretations, and different methods while organizing the social order of common life. It also develops one's capacity to accept, appreciate, and enjoy differences.
These meanings which include diversity/pluralism encourage unity/solidarity/cooperation with an approach that balances individuality and freedom. Though these are controversial topics, the cycle of life will flow more freely when we focus on commonalities rather than differences, and when we seek the common good rather than personal gain.
To root these meanings which bear attitudes that are open to correction/instruction in our lives, and to allow them to bear fruit, Christ overcame every kind of indignity and pretension on the cross. He taught us perpendicular love (love for God) and horizontal love (love for humanity). He did not do it to be loved. He did it out of AGAPE, or unconditional love, which does not care whether or not it goes unrequited. He did it with a forgiving love, with the power of love, not love of power.
This is a love that contains no darkness. Those who find this love find themselves. This love carries a divine wisdom full of privileges. It involves appreciation and admiration, not ownership. It develops a sense of responsibility for ourselves and for others. It creates, it sustains creation.
It takes care not to hurt or be hurt. It values. It teaches to see others as our equals. It strives to complete others. It acts responsibly on this matter. It necessitates respect for another's world of meaning. It uplifts people's dignity so that life's sanctity is not overshadowed. It treats the preservation of this dignity with utmost sensitivity. It never wastes, it never goes to waste. Because it has eternal meanings!
You see, the cross means to live/uphold these meanings despite suffering. This means empowering the spirit with a complementary understanding that comes from the compassion of perpendicular and horizontal love. At the same time, it means to add warmth where it is cold, it means not to exclude, ostracize, belittle, compare, humiliate, or ridicule.
"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world" (John 16:33). When combined with the message, "Take heart! I have overcome the world," the meanings of the Resurrection are the final and greatest assurance presented to us (for social order and eternal life). These meanings are the yeast. The yeast must raise the dough. It must penetrate the self. It must transform and build up the character. It must discipline the passions and ambitions. These meanings have to find a workspace inside people.
In this world to which we came to serve and complete one another with love and respect, when we act with mindful appreciation and active altruism rather than with undercurrent emotions, there will be an increase in creativity and productivity, and we will have reached a necessary plenitude. For this to be possible, we must distance our intentions, thoughts, and attitudes from lust for power/domination and from competitive ambition; we must adopt an attitude of mindful collaboration and a mentality of spiritual partnership. Our primary duty is to do this for the good of ourselves and all humanity. We must achieve this. Actually, this is our most pressing need.
I think these meanings and understandings that shed light on our current-day situation will be helpful in restituting what has been given us to its true source during our self-evaluations, inner battles, and reckonings with our ego.
All we can do is to search our inner world with the motivation provided by these meanings and discover our true self. That self is unconditional love. Developing a meaningful whole that is consistent with this self will contribute to peace and stability, as well as social cohesion.
Only then can we love ourselves, deserve and live our own life.
Only then can we transition "From those who know what they know to those who know themselves."
Only then can we determine to receive the ticket to the understanding that is revealed on the cross and blossoms in the spirit of life through resurrection. Only then can we stay strong through life's ups and downs.
With these sentiments, I wish you a happy Easter.
My greatest prayer is for the resurrected love to bring warmth to the spirit of life and to heal/illuminate social processes.
May your hearts be overjoyed and empowered.
Happy Easter. EDO BRİĞO.
Malfono Yusuf Beğtaş
President of the Syriac Association of Language, Culture and Literature
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