Engaging the Gospel – Easter Sunday

The Resurrection of the Lord: Gospel – Mark 16:1-7; John 20:1-9; or Luke 24:13-35

The Resurrection is a literal truth, a real historical event, of Christ being raised from the dead.

It cannot be dismissed as merely a nice metaphor for how the disciples were inspired to carry on after Jesus’ death, or a pious myth to recover from the horror of the Crucifixion (Catechism paragraphs 639-44). Such a dismissal doesn’t comport with the facts that the disciples were terrified, in hiding, crushed that their Messianic hope had apparently failed in the most gruesome way under Roman torture.

The transformation of the apostles – from this demoralized and cowardly crew, into fearless missionaries and ultimately martyrs – is inexplicable in purely human terms.

As Benedict XVI observes, their preaching “would be unthinkable unless the witnesses had experienced a real encounter” with the risen Christ (Jesus of Nazareth, Vol. 2, p. 275).

Nor was the Lord just brought back to our ordinary human life, in the way that He had raised others during His ministry.

“Jesus’ Resurrection was about breaking out into an entirely new form of life” that lies beyond our earthly existence (ibid., p. 244). In truth, His Resurrection marks a “leap” into a new order of being, “opening up a dimension that affects us all…a new space of being in union with God” (p. 274).

“It is a historical event that nevertheless bursts open the dimensions of history and transcends it” (p. 273).

Question for reflection: How does the radical reality of the Resurrection transform my life?

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