The Resurrection is not ‘just some miracle from the past’

Easter Sunday: Gospel – Luke 24:1-12 (Vigil); John 20:1-9

“If it were simply that somebody was once brought back to life, and no more than that, in what way should this concern us?”

With this pointed question, Benedict XVI called us to deepen our understanding of the Resurrection of the Lord – and what it means for us, our lives, and our eternal destiny.

Christ is truly risen in the flesh, not to resume earthly life as we know it, but to take up a transcendent life in His glorified Body:

If we may borrow the language of the theory of evolution, it is the greatest ‘mutation,’ absolutely the most crucial leap into a totally new dimension that there has ever been in the long history of life and its development: a leap into a completely new order which does concern us, and concerns the whole of history…

The Resurrection was like an explosion of light, an explosion of love which…ushered in a new dimension of being, a new dimension of life in which, in a transformed way, matter too was integrated and through which a new world emerges.

It is clear that this event is not just some miracle from the past, the occurrence of which could be ultimately a matter of indifference to us…

We have been caught up into this supernatural reality through Baptism. Incorporated into Christ, each baptized person is capable of “finding oneself within the vastness of God,” sharing in the intimacy of God’s own life:

The great explosion of the Resurrection has seized us in Baptism so as to draw us on. Thus we are associated with a new dimension of life into which, amid the tribulations of our day, we are already in some way introduced.

To live one’s own life as a continual entry into this open space: this is the meaning of being baptized, of being Christian. This is the joy of the Easter Vigil.

The Resurrection is not a thing of the past; the Resurrection has reached us and seized us. We grasp hold of it, we grasp hold of the risen Lord, and we know that He holds us firmly even when our hands grow weak.

Easter Vigil Homily of April 15, 2006.

Question for reflection: How am I changed by encountering the Risen Christ?

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Engaging the Gospel – Fourth Sunday of Lent

Fourth Sunday of Lent: Gospel – John 9:1-41

Jesus heals the man born blind

Blessed John Paul II encouraged us to see ourselves in the blind man, and so become open to Christ:

The man born blind represents the human person marred by sin, who desires to know the truth about himself and his personal destiny, but is prevented from doing so by congenital illness.

That “congenital illness” is sin and its lingering effects that still darken our vision.

 Only Jesus can cure him: He is “the light of the world” (Jn 9,5).

By giving ourselves over to Jesus, as the blind man did, we too are healed:

…every human being who is spiritually blind from birth has the fresh possibility of “coming to the light,” namely to supernatural life…

For the one who meets Christ, there is no other alternative: either he recognizes his need of Him and of His light, or he chooses to do without…

Dear brothers and sisters, may no one close his soul to Christ!

Angelus of March 10, 2002

The blind man is healed because he is open to Christ, and his healing is richly symbolic.

By instructing him to wash in the Pool of Siloam, the Lord is prefiguring the sacrament of Baptism.

Siloam means “Sent,” and Jesus is “the One Sent” (Pope Benedict XVI, Jesus of Nazareth, Vol. 1, p. 242), through whom we are cleansed, given light, and made a new creation in the waters of Baptism (Catechism paragraphs 1213-16).

Yet Baptism, as “the sacramental entry into the life of faith” (1236), is just the beginning of our journey.

“For all the baptized, children or adults, faith must grow after Baptism. For this reason, the Church celebrates each year at the Easter Vigil the renewal of baptismal promises” (1254).

Question for reflection: When have I seen things anew in the light of Christ?