Another Easter!

In 08 Musings by Jack Reagan on 2011/04/11 at 6:01 PM

It’s a rare Catholic church that does not talk about the significance of Christmas on Christmas day and the significance of the Resurrection on Easter.  The reason is that both these feasts have momentous implication in the Christian religion. Easter is the paramount celebration of the Christian Church. Good Friday would have been forever in dispute if there had been no Easter.

St. Paul tells us that without the Resurrection, our faith and belief is useless because it would amount to little more than opinion. What would we have faith in? A corpse? A memory? A shaky hope? But, the Resurrection of Christ is God’s seal of approval on Christ and His Church.

No other religious founder is still alive. Some have known burial places; some do not. Some, like Ellen Gould White, founder of the Seventh Day Adventists, promised her followers that she would rise from the dead. They are still waiting. No religion even claims a founder who came back from the dead. Even Islam, the source of much religious absurdity, does not claim that Mohammed is still alive.

The Resurrection is not some myth or fable or tall story. It is a historical fact like any other authenticated fact of history. Christians should not think of the Resurrection as some pious sectarian tale, but a fact of history attested to by 500 witnesses, some of whom actually conversed with the risen Christ. Courts accept the testimony of two reliable witnesses. What of five hundred? Many of these were still living when Gospels and Epistles were written.

If Christ had not risen from the dead as He prophesied, His mission on earth would have been suspect and subject to two millennia of bickering, arguing, doubt, etc.  By rising from the grave by His own divine power, He affirmed Himself as God and Savior, making His teaching of divine origin and, therefore, not subject to change by human or group of humans.

Thus the Resurrection, by itself, affirms the truth of Christianity. All other religions, ‘ipso facto’, can be labeled ‘false’. Ah, yes, you say; what about the ‘sincere’ members of other religions. They may be sincere, but they are sincerely wrong. Sincerity does not affect truth. Truth does not arise in our minds, but in the real world.

After Christ died on the Cross, He could have brought Himself back to life and simply vanished from the tomb. Salvation would still be possible for man.Prayer would be possible.Liturgies would be possible.What would not be possible would freedom from doubt and anxiety, and centuries of skepticism. Humans want to have certitude about vitally important matters, and the Resurrection is a divine gift of certitude  about Christ and His Church. It is another example of divine love (commitment) for the benefit of us humans.

Man has conquered the heights of the heavens and the depths of the seas, but, even though some try, he cannot seem to conquer that six-foot hole. Not a single human has ever come back to life by his own power, and even those whom Christ raised from the dead in the Gospels died later and are still dead.

In this Easter-time, the world is in a mess. All of it is man-made.Nothing seems to be working. There is fear and dread of resurgent Islam. World economies are falling. There are wars, protests, insurrections all over.

Politicians have no answers or the wrong ones. Some Church leaders have rejected their God for human applause. Some feel like a man in a boat without oars heading for a waterfall.

But, God is unchanging. Easter tells us that God still cares about people and is committed to their well-being if they so desire. In a world of chaos and unbelief, the resurrected Christ calls to us and says, “Come to Me all you who labor and are heavy burdened and I will refresh you.”

Easter tells us that is a real possibility. Recall the words of St. Augustine, “Our hearts were made for Thee, O, God, and they will not rest until they rest in Thee.” The risen Christ is the ONLY answer to man’s problems. That is why he referred to Himself as “THE way, THE truth, and THE life.


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