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Eastern Homily
of Father Budi Kleden

"I know you that you are seeking Jesus the crucified. He is not here, for he has been raised!" the angel says to the two women. The crucified is risen, the story of inhuman aggression is transformed into a story of life; the victim of violence becomes the victorious king. Yes, Easter, the resurrection of Jesus is the victory of the God of non-violence. The resurrected Jesus shows us that the right way and true life for us humans can only be found in the path of non-violence.

The risen Lord is God's answer to the violence of human beings, the masses and their leaders, an answer given in humility and patience, forgiveness and sacrifice. The events of the way of the cross show how violence is celebrated and encouraged by the masses. The resurrection, on the other hand, proves that the Lord's thoughts are not ours, his ways are not our ways, as today's third reading says from the prophet Isaia.

From the very beginning, the Lord presents himself as the God of non-violence. The creation of the universe and of the human beings is not a result of a conflict between the gods or of the tragic fall of one of the heavenly beings, but a creation that emerged from the decision taken by the free will of God. We read in the first reading: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth… Let us make man in our image, according to our likeness'. However, due to human's inability to control their ambitions, violence entered human history and became a customary, generally accepted way of treating others and nature. In the story of the exodus, we see God's action to bury everything that has a connection with violence and thus begins a new story of God with his people. Beyond the sea, the chosen people were to live a culture of non-violence.

Beyond the sea are we, the baptised in Christ, called and enabled to live the new humanity in the Spirit of Jesus, as St Paul writes in his letter to the Romans.

The resurrection calls us to live the culture of life and avoid every evil that glorifies violence. We know that violence is expressed not only in actions, but also inertia, that the disposition to do nothing could be a latent form of violence. Not only words can kill others; many times, even silence, the attitude of saying nothing, could turn into connivance and cause the death of others. The inability to control emotions, personal and cultural arrogance towards others, the abuse of power and confidentiality, are forms of violence that cause wounds in family relationships or in a religious community, can give birth and support the culture of death and bring darkness into our family and community.

Dear brothers and sisters,
We are called to be missionaries of light, to be faithful and creative disciples sent to heal the wounds in our world caused by so many different forms of violence. We are encouraged to live a culture of non-violence. Non-violence, says Pope Francisco, does not mean surrendering and capitulating, losing and giving up, but it is an active disposition to promote the reconciliation and peace that is the first gift of the Risen Lord.

Collegio del Verbo Divino, Rome,
Easter, April 09, 2023