Sisters of St.Joseph of Chambery, India

Message from the provincial
Nirmala Province

Message from the provincial

Wish you all A VERY Happy Easter!

The feast of Easter brings to my mind the following story, which was narrated to us by our catechism teacher during my school days: A three-year-old girl, Nicole, was as anxious for Easter to come as she had been for Christmas to come. One day as Nicole and her father stopped at a store to buy her a new pair of shoes…she once again said, "I can't wait for Easter Daddy!" Her dad asked, "Do you know what Easter means, honey?" She replied, "Yes." "Well, what does Easter mean?" In her own sweet three-year-old way, with arms raised, a smile on her face, and at the top of her voice she said, "Surprise!"

What better word could sum up the meaning of Easter! Surprise, death! Surprise, sin! Surprise, mourning disciples! Surprise, He's alive!" Surprise, Christ is risen! He's won the victory! Surprise.

In Matthew's account of the resurrection, we are told that the guards as well as the women WERE SURPRISED when they learned that Jesus had risen from the dead. The women had come in deep sorrow to Christ's grave, expecting and believing that he lay dead in his grave. The women however, experienced THE GREATEST SURPRISE OF THEIR LIVES! Christ was no longer dead, HE WAS ALIVE! Closely related to the women's surprise was their JOY. Matthew tells us in verse 8: "So (the women) departed quickly from the tomb with fear and GREAT JOY, and RAN TO TELL HIS DISCIPLES." They were SURPRISED BY JOY with Christ's resurrection. Their sorrow, darkness and despair were defeated by the SURPRISING, JOYFUL news of the resurrection.

We too have been SURPRISED AND OVERWHELMED WITH JOY at  Christ's resurrection. Our sorrow, darkness and despair have been defeated by the SURPRISING, JOYFUL NEWS OF THE RESURRECTION. This happens in many different ways for each one of us throughout our lifetime. For example, it happens whenever an impossible situation is transformed into a possible situation. It happens when we expect the worst, but with God's help, we receive the best. The surprising joy of Christ's resurrection is experienced whenever: a sick person is healed of their illness; an atheist is given the gift of faith; enemies are reconciled with each other; the enslaved are given a new freedom; there is a song in our hearts, which cannot be crushed, even by life's greatest sorrows. These are but a few among the many surprising joys of Christ's Resurrection that we experience in our lifetime.

In Matthew's account, the angel and Jesus instructed the women to: "GO AND TELL." This instruction was not only given to the women and to the disciples--IT'S AN INSTRUCTION FOR EACH ONE OF US TOO. We are called to share the Good News with JOY AND CONFIDENCE that God's marvelous saving action through Christ's resurrection HAS WON THE VICTORY OVER SIN, EVIL, AND DEATH.
As religious, let us walk on the path prepared by the disciples of Jesus Christ to bring the Good News of resurrection to the people through our actions​ with convictions that we are the message and messengers of Jesus Christ.
Dear Sisters, may we, like the women and like little Nicole, filled with the joy and enthusiasm of Christ's Resurrection share this GOOD NEWS WITH THE WHOLE WORLD and especially in the PERIPHERIES OF OUR FRACTURED WORLD!

May the promise of Easter fill our hearts with Peace and Joy!
Happy Easter TO ONE AND ALL!
S. Ophelia
Nirmala Province