God, AIDS, Africa & HOPE

Thoughts, inside, comments of a Catholic priest

Prolonged Good Friday and hopefully Easter in South Africa

Tomorrow Christians around the world are celebrating Easter – feast of the resurrection. It feels odd to me on first sight as South Africa seems to “enjoy” a prolonged Good Friday experience – crucified by corruption, downgrading, political ignorance, state capture and witnessing an agonizing dead of a liberation movement trying to turn into a political party. And not only on the level of politics and society but also on an personal level Good Friday continues: poverty, lack of food security, high crime rates, xenophobia – maybe this inner connect of a religious celebration and reality brought so many people to churches all over the country yesterday; the sense and recognition of despair and sometimes the knowledge that alone one can’t stem the wave of all this negativity. And South Africa is not alone in this prolonged Good Friday experience when we look around in the global village.

For that very reason the message of Easter, the message of resurrection, the message of hope carried by more than a billion Christians is so important in our days – Easter does not negate or take away the pain of the past or the pain of the present times but it holds the promise of a turnaround and a better future. And more: it speaks not only of a promise but for us Christians it manifests a reality that this turnaround is possible not only in a far away future, but that Easter, that resurrection can and will happen in our days if people just find the courage to act on it, simply to live it.
Easter is not so much the promise of a life after death – it is the promise that things can be turned today – the bible tells multiple stories of people encountering the risen Christ, e.g. on the way to Emmaus and always after such an encounter life is not the same anymore.

Understanding the deeper meaning of Easter frees from many anxieties – it also brings to the forefront that we are at the end all part of one,of the divine – we call it in human language we are brothers and sisters in one family. There is no race except the human race being inter-connected in the divine mystery. The day people understand that we are part of one creation – as the Apostle Paul puts it – still developing through space and times – is the day we will move forward and that will be the day Africa will be rising within the global village.

Easter, the religious message of Easter holds so much for the situation South Africa is in today – and I hope and pray that those attending the Easter celebrations in any of the churches not only are filled with hope but also filled with the energy to heal and transform our South African society for the better – ambassadors of a reality ignited in the midst of darkness.

Filed under: Africa, Politics and Society, Reflection, Religion and Ethics, Society and living environment, South Africa, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , ,

01.04.2010 Holy days ahead

For us Christians there are now very three very holy days ahead, starting today with Holy Thursday and ending with Easter, the most important feast of Christianity. In between Good Friday which tells a bloody story about suffering and death. I find it always important to have this Good Friday in between – a day where our faith clearly and without any cover up is realising the cruelty of the world, the suffering, the injustice and all what goes with it. But it is also a day where we think of those marginalised today – those suffering of HIV and AIDS, those who are refugees in a foreign country and not welcomed, those in absolute poverty or sentenced without a fair trial. So many people to think of on Good Friday. Last but not least we can also look at ourselves, our wounds, our dark sides, our pain and shortcomings – and we can do this in the knowledge that it belongs to us, it is part of being a human, and that we have to accept most of it, change some of it, but that we all can trust that God will transform all of it to an Easter experience.

I think this counts a lot specially in the days where our church is going to the press because of all the old wounds never revealed. I hope and with that this Good Friday is a Good Day for our church, acknowledging our pain and shortcomings without excuses – that will be the first step to be able to experience also an Easter of our church.

Filed under: Reflection, Uncategorized, , , , , ,

12th HOPE Gala Dresden

HOPE Gala Dresden - the event to be in DresdenOctober 28th, 2017
6 months to go.

Ball of HOPE 2017

Join us @ The Westin in Cape TownMay 13th, 2017
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© Rev Fr Stefan Hippler and HIV, AIDS and HOPE.
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