MESSAGE OF EASTER
Belief in the Resurrection of Jesus Christ is at the very heart of the Christian message. Our faith stands or falls with the truth of the testimony that Christ has risen from the dead. “If there is not resurrection from the dead, Christ himself cannot have been raised, and if Christ has not been raised then our preaching is useless and your believing is useless. If Christ has not been raised, you are still in your sins”. (1Cor 15:13-14, 17)
St. Paul teaches that if Christ is not risen, our Christian faith is dead. Christ himself would have been a failed religious leader and would remain purely human.
Christ’s Glorified Body
During his public ministry Jesus raised some people who had died to life – the son of the widow of Nain, the daughter of Jairus and of course Lazarus. These people returned to their former lives and later on they died definitively. But the Resurrection of Jesus was entirely different. It resulted in breaking out into a new form of life, no longer subject to human mortality, he entered a new life, a different life. He would not die again.
Apostles in Shock
The apostles wondered what ‘rising from the dead’ could mean (Mk 9:10). They were not expecting this and were slow to realize what had happened, just as they had not imagined a crucified Messiah. For his disciples, the resurrection was a unique experience which surpassed all they could imagine. Their encounter with the Risen Lord was a real event. Jesus was not a ghost or spirit. He did not belong to the domain of the dead. He was alive, as a living person in his glorified humanity. Their doubts were dispelled. The courageously preached and gave witness, at the risk of their lives, to their firm belief in the Lord’s Resurrection. Christ is truly risen. Alleluia.
Through the Resurrection, God fully reveals himself as the Lord of life over death. There is an assurance that at the end life will be victorious over death, truth over deceit, justice over injustice and love over hate. We are also given hope of our own resurrection to eternal life (Rom 6:5).
Easter helps us to be aware that God is present even when his presence is not directly noticed. Through the darkness of war and human suffering, the light, the joy and the glory of Easter always break through. Goodness, compassion, reconciliation, love, truth and beauty will ultimately triumph. Jesus walks with us on the road of life just as he accompanied the two disciples on their way to the village called Emmaus, opening up the scriptures to us and listening to our personal life stories. Yet these stories are part of a much bigger story, the story of God’s love redeeming human failure.
Goodness prevails. Renewal and Resurrection are already with us and active among us. “There lives the deepest freshness deep down things” (G.M. Hopkins). Christ’s Resurrection brings us hope for new life and new joy along with the rekindling of our faith. Christ is Risen, Alleluia.
I pray you all every Easter blessing and Joy.