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I THOUGHT YOU SHOULD KNOW | Faith in the resurrection of Christ transforms everything we do

‘Then the other disciple also went in, the one who had arrived at the tomb first, and he saw and believed.’

The Feast of the Resurrection is as spectacular as it is mysterious. We’ll never comprehend this mystery, we’ll only experience it someday. The mystery touches us in inexplicable ways every day. Contemplating this mystery should profoundly alter the way we relate to others, because Christ relates to others through us.

In attempting to explain the meaning of this day, St. Heshchius of Jerusalem wrote: “This day brings us a message of joy; it is the day of the Lord’s resurrection when, with Himself He raised up the race of Adam. Born for the sake of human beings, He rose from the dead with them. On this day paradise is opened by the risen one. Adam is restored to life and Eve is consoled. On this day the divine call is heard, the kingdom is prepared, we are saved and Christ is adored.”

No longer can the children of Adam and Eve wag their fingers at their first parents, as if blaming and shaming them for their choice.” I also picture Eve saying to Jesus: “Thank you for taking away our guilt and shame. Thank you for now giving all our children the opportunity to make their own choices, to see how well they can do!”

Faith in the resurrection of Christ transforms everything we do. Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI wrote: “Faith in the resurrection of Jesus says that there is a future for every human being; the cry for unending life which is a part of the person is indeed answered. Through Jesus we do know ‘the room where exiled love lays down its victory.’ He Himself is this place, and He calls us to be with Him and to depend upon Him. He calls us to keep this place open within the world so that He, the exiled love, may reappear over and over in the world.”

What a joy to know that Jesus Himself is the place “where exiled love lays down its victory.” What a joy to know that He has called us to be with Him and to be dependent upon Him, so that “exiled love” may appear over and over again in the world through us. He uses us as a launching pad to continue His ministry here on earth.

Do you remember Jesus telling His disciples that they would do greater things than He has done? For Christ to work a miracle in one place is a great thing, but for Him to multiply this through His followers here on earth is much greater.

His resurrection power has been released throughout the entire world. We no longer look back nostalgically on what Jesus did, wishing we had been there. No, we take a look at what He is doing here and now, day after day, in our hearts, and at the things He would like to do if only we give Him permission.

Think of the awesome opportunities that are ours every day so that “exiled love may reappear over and over in the world.” We’re part of His resurrected kingdom, taking shape every day. We have within us the explosive power of His love. Every time we share it, it escapes into the hearts of others to continue the work of redemption and salvation.

If you want to see where this is going, go back to the readings for Easter and see it in its infancy. The news of the resurrection seems to have started with Mary Magdalene. She tells Peter and John and they race to the tomb and enter. We’re told that John “saw and believed.” Meanwhile, Christ appeared to others who, in turn, spread the good news further. On Easter Sunday night, He appeared to the apostles, gave them the fullness of the Holy Spirit and commissioned them to forgive sins.

In the first reading, Peter was in the house of Cornelius, a Gentile. As he was witnessing to Jesus’ teachings and miracles, the Holy Spirit came down upon these Gentiles, just as with the apostles. The resurrection was loosed upon the earth, and no force can stop it.

This means that victory over sin and death is ours, and we’re to allow Jesus to help us live it and spread it. It doesn’t mean that we’ll live sinless, but it does mean that with sin there’s forgiveness. There are graces much greater than our greatest weaknesses. It means that we don’t live in condemnation, but we live in hope, knowing that our victorious Jesus has given us the dignity of being His witnesses to a life of repentance and forgiveness.

There’s no longer any excuse for being depressed about our sins. He wants to lift our burdens of guilt with His mercy. He wants us to live free of sin through forgiveness so that Satan doesn’t have a claim on our lives.

With the conversion of Saul and the repentance of Peter, Christ also wants us to be celebrators of repentance. He wants us to accept willingly our need for mercy and thus give others hope in Christ. He has called us to stop looking at ourselves as self-sufficient, but totally dependent upon Him for everything.

Suffering doesn’t end with the resurrection, but it’s filled now with profound hope and meaning. Suffering joyfully with Christ brings resurrection joy into the lives of those with whom we live and socialize.


I THOUGHT YOU SHOULD KNOW Faith in the resurrection of Christ transforms everything we do 2

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