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Dearly beloved in Christ,

Greetings to you in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

“On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being locked where the disciples were for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” John 20:19

Mahatma Gandhi said, “An eye for an eye will only make the whole world blind.” Gandhi explained “Ahimsa” (Nonviolence) to the world of hatred, confusion and cruelty in the following way, “Ahimsa does not simply mean non-killing. Himsa means causing pain to or killing any life out of anger or for a selfish purpose or with the intention of injuring it. Refraining from so doing is ahimsa. Ahimsa means not to injure any creature by thought, word or deed. True ahimsa should mean a complete freedom from ill- will and anger and hate and an overflowing love for all. Ahimsa is the attribute of the soul and therefore to be practiced by everybody in all the affairs of life”.

Leaders from different walks of life like spiritual, social and political field said many things about peace. Many organisations are working in different levels like globally and locally to maintain peace by spending enormous money and utilising huge amount of human resources. Still world is in darkness because of the “an eye for an eye” mentality.

Revelry and enmity growing day by day among nations, communities, neighbours and even among brothers trigger the distraction of peaceful atmosphere. Instability and unjust systems in social, political and financial realms makes people insecure, arrogant and cruel. Sudden emergences of new terrorist and fundamental groups are the by-products of the above circumstances. In this types of scenarios, search for a saviour and search for alternative system is very common. But everything ultimately ends up with total disaster and destruction, because its roots and formula works on the basis of violence. Once Mahatma Gandhi said, “A man who was completely innocent, offered himself as a sacrifice for the good of others, including his enemies, and became the ransom of the world. It was a perfect act.” Jesus opened up a perfect path for leadership through love, peace and compassion.

Easter gives us the message that resurrection is a reality. Faith in this reality leads us to the renewal of life. Renewal of life enlightens our day to day life situations in this world. Disciples of Jesus were in the darkness of confusion because of His crucifixion. Many of them were displaced and hid themselves for their protection. Resurrected Jesus appeared in the midst of disciples who were in fear. He appeared before many in different places and in different situations. The Compassionate Jesus travelled with them, gave them clarification and led them to the confession. Where ever He appeared, He renewed their life with message of ‘Peace’ (“Peace be with you” - Jn: 20:21). The presence of Jesus and the words of ‘Peace’ enlightened the minds and the spirit of disciples. The journey from the Passion to peace begins here. He restored the relationship with disciples even though they betrayed Him and withdrawn from His path. Here the rebuilding and restoration of this Kingdom relationship works on the basis of love, peace and compassion that will exist for ever. In St. John 14:27 Jesus said “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” As children of light and love we must grow in grace and peace as St. Peter said in 2 Peter 1:2, “May grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.” Work and pray to be a warrior of peace.

Let’s our smiles start to spread the messages of peace in our surroundings.

May the Almighty God strengthen each one of us to Celebrate this Easter with a heart filled with love and peace. Have a blessed and wonderful Easter!

K. J. Philip Achen.

Vicar Melbourne Mar Thoma Parish