Because Jesus is physically alive, his Church is visible. Because Jesus is corporeal, the sacraments are visible aqueducts of his divine life. Because Jesus physically transcends time and space, he remains with us in the Eucharist as the "medicine of immortality" (cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1405). The empty tomb and the neatly folded burial cloths illustrate that redemption is not only for the soul, but for the body as well.
He is truly risen! The empty tomb and the neatly folded burial cloths illustrate that redemption is not only for the soul, but for the body as well.
CORPUS CHRISTI, TX (CATHOLIC ONLINE) - The resurrection of Jesus is a reality beyond doubt. The liturgical season of Easter fills us with immense joy and profound hope. However, each time we contemplate the gospel passages detailing the resurrection of Jesus we are faced with a sense of strangeness. The barriers of time and space no longer apply to him. The Lord appears and disappears with shocking suddenness. He continually demonstrates his physical reality. The Apostles and the disciples see him, hear him, and eat with him. Thomas is told to touch his wounds. The stone rolled away from the entrance, and the carefully folded burial cloths direct our gaze to the physical. He has truly risen.
The disbelief and uncertainty evidenced by those who saw him testify to an apparent strangeness in the appearance of the newly risen Christ. Slowly they came to recognize him, but they still struggled with doubt. Their response shows us that although the risen Jesus is the same Jesus that died on Calvary; his physical reality is now different than before. The body of the risen Lord is indeed his physical body, but he now moves about with a glorified body.
Repeatedly the gospels stress that something extraordinary has occurred. The Lord is tangible, but he has been transformed. His life is different from what it once was. His glorified body transcends the limitations of time and space. For this reason, he can pass through the closed door of the Upper Room, and appear and disappear as he desires. At times his disciples cannot recognize him precisely because their physical reality moves within time and space, and the Lord's physical reality is no longer subject to time and space, although he exists within time and space.
The clarity of the physical reality of the risen Jesus provides us with the certainty of the existence of the Lord and the veracity of everything that he has taught us. The empty tomb and the neatly folded burial cloths illustrate that redemption is not only for the soul, but for the body as well.
Applied to our practical daily living, the reality of the Risen Jesus fills us with profound peace. There is no need to worry or to fear. He is truly with us. With Jesus, we know that we are journeying, not to the sunset, but to the sunrise. We enter into a new relationship with God when we really believe that God is as Jesus told us that he is. We become absolutely sure of his love. We become absolutely convinced that he is above all else a redeeming God. The fear of suffering and death vanishes, for suffering and death means going to the one God who is the awesome God of love. In reality, our life long journey is a journey to the eternal Easter in Heaven.
When we truly believe, we enter into a new relationship with life itself. When we make Jesus our way of life, life becomes new. Life is clad with a new loveliness, a new light and a new strength. When we embrace Jesus as our Lord and Savior, when we develop a personal relationship with him, we realize that life does not end, it changes and it goes from incompletion to completion, from imperfection to perfection, from time to eternity.
When we truly believe in Jesus, we are resurrected in this life because we are freed from the fear and worry that are characteristic of a godless life; we are freed from the unhappiness of a life filled with sin; we are freed from the loneliness of a life without meaning. When we walk with Jesus and follow his way, life becomes so powerful that it cannot die but must find in death the transition to a higher life.
The bodily resurrection of Jesus from the dead makes our entire journey to eternal life tangible, real, certain, and credible. Because Jesus is physically alive, his Church is visible. Because Jesus is corporeal, the sacraments are visible aqueducts of his divine life. Because Jesus physically transcends time and space, he remains with us in the Eucharist as the "medicine of immortality" (cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1405). Because Jesus has truly risen from the dead and ascended to the Father, we await with joyful hope his return in glory.
Nevertheless, despite the victory of Jesus over death, the attack of evil continues.
The sacrifice of Christ on the cross is unique. His death on Calvary completes and surpasses all the other sacrifices of the Old Testament. Nevertheless, Christ´s reign is to be fulfilled with his Second Coming in glory. Until that day occurs, Satan continues his attack even though he has been already conquered definitively by Christ´s sacrifice on Calvary (cf. CCC 671).
In our own times, it is not hard to notice an ever-increasing presence of evil powers in the world. The battle continues and it seems as if humanity is out of control.
The perversions of a world that has rejected the Savior of the world continues to carry much of humanity down the blind road of self-destruction. The crisis of our age is rooted in the presumption that we can decide for ourselves what is good and evil without reference to God.
The reality of the risen Jesus fills us with peace and consolation because he is truly with us. His resurrection assures us of his final victory over evil. The genuineness of Easter keeps us from worry, fear, and discouragement. It sustains us in times of trial and it opens the heart to the expectation of eternal life. However, this Easter should inspire us to be apostles of life because Jesus is the resurrection and the life.
"We are the people of life because God, in his unconditional love, has given us the Gospel of life and by this same Gospel we have been transformed and saved. We have been ransomed by the ´Author of life´ at the price of his precious blood. Through the waters of Baptism we have been made a part of him, as branches which draw nourishment and fruitfulness from the one tree. Interiorly renewed by grace of the Spirit, who is the Lord and giver of life, we have become a people for life and we are called to act accordingly" (Evangelium Vitae, John Paul II, #79.1)
The culture of death makes itself manifest in numerous ways throughout our modern world. Abortion, euthanasia, excessive use of capital punishment and continuous wars are a concern to us all. However, of all of these terrible manifestations of the culture of death, abortion is the worse of them all.
If we can destroy innocent human life inside of the womb of a mother, and this no longer shocks us or concerns us, then nothing else will ever shock us or gain our concern.
If a society can justify the killing of an innocent unborn child, then there is no limit as to what else a society can justify regarding any other person.
This is why if we really desire to have respect for the sick, the elderly and the dying; if we really want to curb the incorrect use of capital punishment; and if we truly desire lasting peace throughout the world, the first thing that we must assure is the right to life of the unborn child.
As long as abortion remains an unchecked course of action, violence and injustice will continue to submerge the world in a continual spiral of chaos.
The Church must not, and cannot remain silent.
The issue of abortion becomes obscured when it is lumped together on an equal basis with every other social issue that concerns us. Wisdom allows us to make objective distinctions and carefully understand the causes and effects of sinful human behavior on society.
Ideologies only polarize the Church and obscure the efficacy of its mission here on earth.
As we joyfully celebrate the bodily resurrection of the Risen Lord, let us renew our commitment to the cause of life and the building up of a new culture of life.
However, given the present intensity of the battle for life, many have become discouraged. Many maybe tired of the battle.
My dear friends remember the words of St. Teresa of Avila: "Let nothing trouble you. Let nothing frighten you. Everything passes. God never changes. Patience obtains all. Whoever has God, wants for nothing. God alone is enough" (Poesías 30).
Abandon yourself into the loving hands of an awesome God that loves us unconditionally. Allow yourself to be purified. Do not let yourself be consumed by anger, anxiety, frustration, discouragement or resentment. Enter into the dark night of the spirit. Do not be afraid. Allow yourself to be a transparent witness of the God of life.
Father James Farfaglia is the pastor of Saint Helena of the True Cross of Jesus Catholic Church in Corpus Christi, Texas. Father has a hard hitting blog calledIllegitimi non carborundum. He has also published a book calledMan to Man: A Real Priest Speaks to Real Men about Marriage, Sexuality and Family Life. He is a contributing writer to Catholic Online.
By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)
We all love to celebrate Easter with brightly colored hard boiled eggs, candy, cute pictures of bunnies and chicks and we all love to gather together to party! Regardless of how you celebrate Easter, don't forget the real reason for the holiday. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading
By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)
The Easter Bunny is a symbol of Easter that is popular in western culture, especially with children. According to folklore, the Easter Bunny hides Easter eggs for children to find on Easter morning. However, the association between a rabbit and the resurrection of ... continue reading
By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)
On Easter Sunday, March 27, 2016, Pope Francis stood before pilgrims gathered at St. Peter's Square for the traditional Urbi et Orbi blessing. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to Vatican Radio, the pontiff stood before the packed square to speak of Jesus ... continue reading
By Alex Basile
Author Alex Basile reflects of the true meaning of the Resurrection of Christ and how many Christians overlook the real joy of Easter. In the haziness of the first Easter morning, Mary Magdalene made her way to tomb of her friend and teacher. Fighting back tears and ... continue reading
By Fr. James Farfaglia
With the resurrection of Jesus, the physical is exalted. When we truly believe in Jesus, we are resurrected in this life because we are freed from the fear and worry that are characteristic of a godless life; we are freed from the unhappiness of a life filled ... continue reading
By Deacon Keith Fournier
Something strange is happening - there is a great silence on earth today, a great silence and stillness. The whole earth keeps silence because the King is asleep. The earth trembled and is still because God has fallen asleep in the flesh and he has raised up all ... continue reading
By Fr. Randy Sly
Just as the Chief Priests and Pharisees gathered with Pilate to plan on keeping the tomb sealed and guarded with Christ inside, many today want to place a stone in the entrance of the Church, to keep him inside again. On Holy Saturday we remember that no matter how ... continue reading
By Michael Terheyden
Pope Francis said something during his first general audience that inspired me to reflect on the suffering Jesus endured during his Passion for the sake of our redemption. He said, "Living Holy Week means increasingly entering into God's logic, the logic of the Cross. ... continue reading
By Deacon Keith Fournier
Christ has flooded the universe with divine and sanctifying waves. For the thirsty, he sends a spring of living water from the wound, which the spear opened in His Side. From the wound in Christ's side has come forth the Church, and He has made her His Bride. ... continue reading
By Deacon Keith Fournier
"Beginning with the Easter Triduum as its source of light, the new age of the Resurrection fills the whole liturgical year with its brilliance. Gradually, on either side of this source, the year is transfigured by the liturgy" (Catechism of the Catholic Church) . ... continue reading