Happy Easter! This weekend, the universal body of Christian believers celebrates the glorious Resurrection of Jesus Christ. The event is the linchpin of the entire Christian way of life.
As Saint Paul wrote, “And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith… And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.”
The worldview that is given by the Resurrection is a radical one. Included among its many tenets is a call to forgive enemies, revere the human body, selflessly serve the poor, welcome the stranger, protect the vulnerable, devoutly celebrate sacraments, study the Bible, and live a way of life ordered by prayer and spiritual discernment.
This course is as massively counter cultural today as it was two thousand years ago. And yet, this is “the way” that has always marked the Christian and made her different from her neighbors.
In order for such a way of life to be possible, and to flourish without resentment or self-pity, a believer must fully embrace the Resurrection. It’s only by placing our self-abandonment within the light of eternity, and within a mosaic that involves a perspective beyond the confines of particular situations and personalities, that we can find strength, true peace and the means of perseverance.
The Resurrection is an invitation to see beyond pain, sorrow, and suffering. It’s a call for us “to get out of ourselves” and our small, self-created worlds of vainglory and entitlement. It is a summons to freedom and spiritual peace. The Resurrection manifests the big picture of existence. It lifts the veil that shrouds death and reveals to us the reality of life that spans beyond time and space.
The Resurrection shows us the bigger picture of existence. It offers us the fullness of life. In its light, therefore, mercy can be given since every offense is placed within its infinity. In the power of the Resurrection, every ordering of desires is worth the labor since our bodies will share in its glory.
In the illumination of the Resurrection, selfless service and a benevolent welcome to the stranger is made possible since every action is helped by grace and all people are cherished as fellow recipients of eternal life.
The Resurrection is the most powerful, earth-shattering, explosive event to ever happen in human history. It has fundamentally changed the human narrative and has drastically changed the course of how the human family interacts with itself. The Resurrection is an event to be reckoned with and one that demands attention.
The belief that the eternal God became a man, allowed himself to experience everything that is human, to die a horrific death in the midst of terrible mockery, and then rose from the dead and offered his disciples a share in his glory is a creed that has turned monsters into saints and barbaric hordes into civil societies.
Whether a person is a believer or not, the capacity of the Resurrection to form a community of like-minded people who wish to be instruments of mercy, respect, compassion, self-service and prayer cannot be dismissed.
The effects of such a worldwide body can be seen and felt in the lives of those who are sick, poor, rashly judged, and living on the peripheries of society and yet have been accepted, honored, loved and served by Christians.
The Resurrection is the culmination of all that is good and truly human. It is the elevation of the human into divinity. It is the work of God in bringing humanity to himself through the sacrifice and ministry of Jesus Christ.
This is the Resurrection. This is the event that inspires, molds and shapes the life of every Christian believer. It is the summons to goodness and the promise of eternal glory. This is what we celebrate today. This is Easter.