posted on March 28, 2018 23:15
Jesus is risen from the dead! Can you believe it?
The resurrection of Jesus, body and soul, is the most amazing moment in human history. No one has ever come back from the dead by their own power except for Jesus. In doing so, he proves he is God incarnate.
This reality is what motivated hundreds of first generation Christians to go out into the world and spread the good news, “Christ is risen, truly he is risen!” They risked public humiliation, because to be Christian was against the Roman law and the Jews of the day were vehemently opposed to claiming Jesus as the Messiah. The social and spiritual environments were hostile to the proclamation of Jesus, just as they are today. Yet, the disciples spoke out anyway, as shown by the apostle, Peter:
"You know what has happened … how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power. He went about doing good and healing all those oppressed by the devil, for God was with him. We are witnesses of all that he did both in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They put him to death by hanging him on a tree. This man God raised on the third day and granted that he be visible, not to all the people, but to us, the witnesses chosen by God in advance, who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. He commissioned us to preach to the people and testify that he is the one appointed by God as judge of the living and the dead. To him all the prophets bear witness, that everyone who believes in him will receive forgiveness of sins through his name." (Acts 10:34a, 37-43)
If you also believe Jesus rose from the dead, what are you doing about it? Has this changed your life, your behaviors in a permanent and profound way?
The first disciples were not articulate public speakers or paid employees of the Church of Jesus. They were blue-collar laborers who had a profound encounter with Jesus, saw him alive after death, and it changed them forever. The second generation of Christians, like you and I, had to believe them at their word (since they did not physically see Jesus alive with their eyes). They had to trust that the sacraments were real, that Jesus speaks through scriptures and personal prayer, and that He is waiting for them in heaven. Are we any different? Do we not also have to choose to believe in this mystery, then to willfully change our lives to match this reality?
Going to Church, having an established and flourishing prayer life, engaging in the life of the parish community, these are all behaviors that flow from a conviction that Jesus means everything to me. That He is waiting for me in heaven, and that I have a duty and responsibility to prepare myself and my family for that day.
During this Easter season, I invite you to renew your relationship with the risen Jesus through the Church. It is the place of daily encounter with Him in the Eucharist, the new Bread come down from Heaven. Eat and drink with Him, with us, that you too may be nourished to go forth, preaching and testifying that He is risen!