28 MARCH 2013
~ And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. ~ 1 Corinthians 13:13
This Easter I thank God for the freedom of religion which is guaranteed to Malaysians by the Constitution of our country. Except for restrictions imposed by some overzealous officials in the administration and played up by political opportunists and religious extremists, we are relatively free to practice our different faiths in this country. I am glad to be celebrating Easter this weekend with my fellow Christians in Malaysia.
Malaysia has been in a heightened state of expectation for the date of elections to be announced, and the citizens are impatient for the day to come when we can effect a change for the good of the country. This Easter, as Christians celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ and rejoice in the hope and promise given to us, let us hold firm to God’s most meaningful message of faith, hope and love.
Let us hold firm to the faith that truth and justice will prevail. We have been motivated by faith to move forward in this quest even in the face of difficult challenges along the way and our faith will continue to carry us on this journey.
Let us hold firm to the hope that encourages us that victory is imminent. Our abiding hope is the expectation that our efforts to bring change to our country will bear fruit, and that the lives of Malaysians will be improved by the changes we seek to bring.
In holding firm to our faith and hope, we are reminded that the greatest of virtues is love. Besides loving God and our brethren, we are called to love those who are lost. Indeed, we are commanded to love even our enemies. We do that by speaking the truth in love, by trying to steer them to the right path so that they understand and commit to a higher purpose of truth and justice for the oppressed in society. We are called upon to pray for those who have ill-feelings towards us. We believe that by this 'heaping of burning coals on their heads', we may turn them into blessings for us and for the community.
In the context of the celebration of the hope which the resurrection of Jesus gives us, we need to be action-oriented to show loving concern for those who are in need. It is this ‘agape’ love which compels me and the members of my team to protect and defend the rights of the natives whose lands have been taken from them and to seek for them the justice which they deserve.
Let us hold steadfast to the faith, hope and love which sustain and guide us in our lives. Amidst the strife and conflict occurring around us, we know that our prayers will be answered and our dreams will come true. As we continue to pray and to act for the good of our fellow men and women, let us also pray that the right of all citizens to freedom of religion will continue to be respected and upheld.
I wish all Christians a blessed Easter.
N70 Ba’ Kelalan /