“Easter is not a time to be lukewarm but a time to recharge our batteries and be energised in the way we live our faith.” This was the view of Archbishop Robert Rivas OP of Castries in his 2018 Easter address to the faithful.
As a celebration of the victory of light over darkness and life over death, he hoped Easter is observed “with renewed faith, deeper respect for life, greater love for one another and a brighter hope for tomorrow”.
Archbishop Rivas, in his message sent to Catholic News via e-mail, said the sad news of the fire which completely destroyed the Msgr Patrick Anthony Folk Research Centre, March 25 (https://catholicnewstt.com/index.php/2018/03/27/fire-guts-cultural-centre-named-priest) was a blow to the nation in Holy Week.
He believed while valuable documents may never be recovered, as a people, they must not allow the darkness to enshroud them.
Rather, it has to become an opportunity for a rebirth of culture in St Lucia and a greater appreciation for the work of their artistes, folklorists and all those who contribute to culture and the arts in every little village, community and throughout the nation. “Out of death and destruction will come resurrection. The light will conquer the darkness,” he said.
Archbishop Rivas observed the battle between light and darkness continues in the world today as there seems to be more death and darkness than reverence for and protection of life.
He reminded the faithful that just as light conquered darkness on Calvary, so too must the light of Christians conquer the darkness of the contemporary world.
“Our light must shine in all the places of sin, corruption, violence, destruction of human life and the environment. The victory has already been won but we must be brave in our mission of transforming the darkness into light.” This, he said, is a “challenge” for all those whose lives have been radically transformed by Christ through baptism.
Archbishop Rivas maintained believers needed to stand in solidarity with Christian brothers and sisters and anyone persecuted for their faith, or because of ethnic cleansing at the hands of extremist groups with ideologies that lead to religious or any other form of intolerance.
He said the seeds of hope and resurrection are being planted when nations stand for justice and open doors for asylum seekers, refugees and migrants, thus “the message of Easter continues to be announced from the tomb”.