– Easter Tuesday-
Jesus said, ‘Mary!’ She knew him then and said to him in Hebrew, ‘Rabbuni!’ – which means Master. Jesus said to her ‘Do not cling to me, because I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go and find the brothers, and tell them: I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’ So Mary of Magdala went and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord and that he had said these things to her. [John 20:16-18]
A key distinction between Christianity and every other religion is the belief that Jesus rose from the dead. Other religions accept that Jesus lived, some recognise him as a prophet, but only Christianity recognises the resurrection. Not only do we believe Jesus rose from the dead, but the resurrection is also “the crowning truth of our faith in Christ, a faith believed and lived as the central truth by the first Christian community; handed on as fundamental by Tradition; established by the documents of the New Testament; and preached as an essential part of the Paschal mystery along with the cross: Christ is risen from the dead. Dying, he conquered death; To the dead, he has given life” (CCC 638).
While many have spoken of life after death, it is only Jesus who overcame death by rising from it. Jesus has the experience of death. This gives Jesus a degree of credibility that no other religious leader can claim. More than this, theologically, it is cause for great awe and joy: “The “resurrection of the flesh” means not only that the immortal soul will live on after death, but that even our “mortal body” will come to life again” (CCC 990). Indeed, the Resurrection of Christ means that we have hope for our own lives beyond death. Rather than death being the final end of all that an individual can experience, it is instead the gateway into the resurrected life with Christ. Death is not the last word.
Holy Spirit, fill us with awe and joy as we consider the wonder of Christ’s Resurrection and the hope of our own resurrected life with Christ.
by Peter Pellicaan
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