KOTA KINABALU: The parish rector of St Simon Catholic Church Likas, Fr Cosmas Lee, told the faithful at the recent Easter Vigil celebration that Christ’s death and resurrection would always reign over satan’s lies and empty promises.
“Brothers and sisters, Jesus was sent – filled with the power of the Holy Spirit – to overcome the power of the devil into whose power we have fallen,” the rector said in his homily.
“The greatest power of satan is death. He assails us with all cruel suggestions, threats of death.”
Fr Cosmas then cited several common challenges faced by the modern day believers such as insecurity in relationships, political injustices, cheating in exams and businesses, among others.
“With satan, there’s always death, in all forms. The devil holds us in his thumb, with his weapon of death. Jesus was sent with the power of God to overcome that ultimate weapon of the devil.
“St Paul in the second reading says, ‘Now that Christ is risen from the dead, our thoughts should be on Heavenly, not earthly things, although our true life is now hidden, it will be revealed when the Lord comes again and our glory with him, too, will be revealed. But as we remain on earth, it’s hidden,” Fr Cosmas said, adding that “we can only live by faith.”
The rector then described the early disciples’ reaction when they discovered the empty tomb. “Apart from Mother Mary, the first ones who saw the empty tomb, and the only one who believed that He was raised from the dead was St John.
“The others would have to learn the lessons through the days and weeks when the Lord appeared to them. They took a long time. Simon Peter had to go for fishing trips to cool off and had to be asked by Jesus – the risen Lord – three times: ‘Do you love me?’
“We must ask ourselves, brothers and sisters, how come John believed, while the others did not? The same Gospel tells us that John was the disciple that the Lord loved. When you love, you believe,” he said.
“If you believe in Jesus, you will believe that He rose from the dead because you know Him, you love Him; because he first loved us.
Fr Cosmas said in his years of priesthood, he had always wondered which account of the Gospel – whether the empty tomb, sitting and drinking at table etc – that made the disciples believe in the Risen Lord.
“As the days and weeks passed by, as they saw Jesus visibly, they remembered who He was,” he said.
“We come to a very serious question. Do I know that the Lord loves me? These doubts we have whether He’s risen or not, is because we do not know Him, how much He loved.
“Let’s know Jesus better, let’s allow Him to love us more – that alone will make us believe in the Resurrection of the Lord. No magic, miracles or signs will help us unless we know the Lord and how He loved,” Fr Cosmas said, concluding his sermon.