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From the Rector
Easter was celebrated only a few days ago, and as I am writing this, we are still in Easter Week. The liturgy of the Church calls it the Easter Octave (eight days after Easter).
Here below is an ‘Easter story’ which I would like to share with you.
Nikolai Ivanovich Bukharin was a Russian Communist leader, who was a central figure in the Revolution that brought the Communists to power in Russia in 1917 (yes, this year marks 100 years since that event).
A few years later he went to Kiev, the capital of Ukraine, to deliver a powerful message about Communism and to declare the end of Christianity in that country.
The large crowd that had come together for the occasion listened politely to the famous speaker from Moscow. And at the end Nikolai was sure that he had convinced the crowd to embrace Communism and to abandon Christianity altogether.
So Nikolai, in a defiant and self-assured gesture, invited the local Catholic priest to say a few words – almost as a ‘dare’ … The priest came up on the stage, and complimented the speaker for his eloquence. Then he looked at the large crowd and shouted: “CHRIST IS RISEN!” And all the people there shouted back with a thundering voice: “HE IS RISEN INDEED!”
The essential message of the Gospel, on which Christians base their faith, is that Jesus Christ has indeed risen. Communism has collapsed in Russia and in the countries of Eastern Europe, but Christianity is still there and thriving.
Today, Christianity has nothing to fear from Communism, however it is still being attacked, not directly, but by making it appear as irrelevant, or obsolete, or negative, or divisive, etc. And Christians even today are prepared to die for their faith, thus proclaiming the value of a belief in life after death, as experienced and promised by the Risen Jesus.
It is the belief in a life ‘out of this world’ that motivates the Christian churches to provide all kind of services; from child care to education, from support for the homeless to hospitals, from mission contributions to agencies for the elderly, etc.
Also, Salesian College is part of this great wave of goodness that brings God’s love and compassion to the present world, with our vision firmly aimed at the world to come.
Fr Frank Bertagnolli, SDB
For those interested in reading more about the death and resurrection of Jesus (apart from the Gospels), you could visit the following link:
You may also be interested in the question of Christian Martyrs in our time.
Then, you could Google: Christians killed for their faith in 2016