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Credit: Sam Phelps / CRS

Credit: Sam Phelps / CRS

Cardinal Oscar Rodríguez Maradiaga’s Easter message 2014

Dear friends,

There are times in our lives when we find ourselves lost in the desert and far from home. These are times when we feel fearful, unloved and as though our suffering will never come to an end.

Look around and you will see people who are crossing the desert literally. They are refugees from Syria, people displaced or under the threat of armed groups and militias in the Central African Republic, desperate migrants who try to cross the barren land between Mexico and the United States, and many more.

Hope is the one thing which drives us all forward on our journey. It is the one thing which will ensure that we all come out of the wilderness to see the light of another day. We should never lose hope. “Let us never lose hope!” said Pope Francis.

After the long period in the desert that is Lent, we come to Easter. The resurrection is the victory of life over death. It is the victory of Christ over oppression.

There is no greater love than one who gives his life so others can live (Jn 15,13). We are given the wonderful promise of a new life but it takes courage to embrace Christ and follow in his footsteps.
When we hear about the death and distress which plague our brothers and sisters we have to fight against indifference.

By opening our hearts to other people’s suffering we lay ourselves open to a transformative grace. Dare we open our hearts to humanity, with all its pain and suffering and imperfection? Dare we be a living example of caritas?

We are about to enter a period of great joy. The celebration of Christ’s resurrection lifts us out of our desert and puts us on the path of hope and eternal life.

Yours in Christ,

Oscar Andrés Cardinal Rodriguez Maradiaga, S.D.B.
President, Caritas Internationalis