Kohima, March 27 (MExN): Bishop of Kohima Most Rev. Dr. James Thoppil presided over the vigil service at the Cathedral Church here and was the main celebrant at Christ King Church, Kohima Village on Easter Sunday. The vigil service, which has four segments, began with the blessing and lighting of new fire, from which the Paschal Candle was lit, symbolizing the divine life of Jesus which was not destroyed on the cross, said a press release from Bishop’s Secretary.
Bishop explained the meaning of the variety of symbols used in the liturgy. The Paschal Candle represents also the body of Christ and the Greek letters of Alpha and Omega. The five grains inserted on to the candle symbolizes the five wounds of Christ. The faithful, then, in procession proceeded to the Church led by Bishop with the lighted Paschal Candle, showing Christ as the new leader to lead all people to God, the release said.
After the homily, the bishop blessed the water, sign of purification and life, reminding of “our” baptism and administered the renewal of baptismal promises which was followed by baptism of the new members and the Eucharistic celebration.
In both churches, Easter egg was distributed after the Holy Mass. The bishop preached the homily taking clue from the Easter egg. The most fundamental and deepest significance of Easter is that it is the beginning of a new era, new life. The spring season during which Easter is celebrated, the Easter egg (as the saying goes, all life comes from an egg – Omne vivum ex ovo) and the very setting of the nature explains the deepest meaning and significance of Easter, he said. Easter is the new beginning for humankind, the Bishop stated, adding it is God’s victory over sin and death, the direct consequence of sin. “Sin and evil do not have the ultimate word for man, but God has.”
He further maintained that resurrection is a call to change and start new, as was the case with Mary Magdalene, St. Peter and St. John and all apostles and disciples. “Easter is also the reason our hope today in the midst of all hopeless and evil situations, pain and suffering. Evil actions done by man on Good Friday will always be defeated, and Easter will be the final word in the battle between good and evil.” Rev. Dr. James Thoppil also affirmed that for those who are on God’s side, victory will always be theirs. “God will always have the last laugh in the affairs of men. By the resurrection of Jesus, evil is overcome and death is defeated. Our sins are washed clean by the blood of Jesus and we can begin a new life in the friendship and fellowship of Christ.”
He added, “Let our prayer always be that we come out of our tombs of our sins and evil habits, and that Jesus will let us share in the power of his resurrection.”
Easter also marks victory of Christians over death: CM
Kohima, March 27 (MExN): Chief Minister of Nagaland TR Zeliang today shared greetings during the Easter Sunrise Service held at Kohima War Cemetery starting 5:00 am. The Chief Minister said that of all the Christian festivals, Easter can be considered as unique, and also worthy of a grand celebration.
He pointed out that no other religion has festival to mark the resurrection or the rising from the death of their founders or leaders except Jesus Christ.
Easter, Zeliang said, marks not only the victory of Jesus Christ over death, but also the victory of Christians over death. “This is also the uniqueness of the Christian faith, which distinguishes it from all other faiths.”
He further stated that Easter can be said to be the foundation of the Christian faith. “Even Apostle Paul had said that, if there is no resurrection, then our faith would be in vain.”
Stating that death is the ultimate conqueror of all lives on earth, the CM said no king or emperor, however wealthy and powerful can resist or overcome death. But for the Christians, Christ has already overcome death, and through that, we also have victory over death, he said.
“And those who have victory over death have nothing to fear, and have no reason to fear. That is why the Apostles became the most fearless, and the most courageous people, braving physical death in the knowledge and believe that they shall rise again like Jesus Christ.”
He further wished the congregation that the joyous day brings hope and blessings to all and that the love of Christ that surpasses all understanding warm their homes.