He is Risen – Reflection for Easter Sunday

Readings for Easter Sunday

He is Risen-Alleluia Alleluia! What does that mean for you? “Let each of us consider how different the history of humanity would be and how different our lives would be if there had been no redemption and no Resurrection,” wrote French Dominican theologian Fr. Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange (1877-1964).  What if Mary and the Apostles found Him stone cold dead? We could not begin to fathom the difference in our lives or just how dark the world would truly be nor how hopeless our lives would be if the Resurrection did not happen.  No afterlife; no Church; no sacraments; no forgiveness; no healing; no mercy; no love; no adoption, and no sons and daughters of the Father — no idea!

The Catechism of the Catholic Church says, “The seventh day completes the first creation.” “The eighth day begins the new creation. Thus, the work of creation culminates in the greatest work of redemption. The first creation finds its meaning and its summit in the new creation in Christ, the splendor of which surpasses that of the first creation” (CCC 349). It is truly right and just for us to celebrate Easter every Sunday as the new Sabbath and to celebrate the Easter Season for 50 days. It is that glorious!

What did the Apostles see? Burial shrouds lying in the tomb and the “cloth that covered His head, not with the burial cloths but rolled up in a separate place.” Would grave robbers bother to roll up a head cloth and neatly fold it up? It is highly unlikely they would bother to do such a thing.  Why did St. John use the word “tomb” seven times in just nine verses? They saw the empty tomb and believed what He had promised but did not fully understand the Scriptures. St. Mary of Magdala came to the tomb early and was the first to see Him, yet why? If the Apostles lied why would they choose a woman? After all, a woman’s testimony was inadmissible in a court of law. Therefore, if it were a hoax, they would have used a man as a false witness.  Why do so many not believe in Jesus’ Bodily Resurrection and so many more live as if it doesn’t matter?  Even with the numerous Resurrection and post-Resurrection accounts of Jesus, why do so many doubt? I believe they doubt God’s power and His powerful love for all of us and to what lengths he will go to save us, despite our best efforts to escape Him.

Our bodies and souls are destined for greatness and glory in Him. We are meant to be with Him and married to Him in the eschaton, the after-life, as St. John Paul II tells us in his work Theology of the Body. Jesus died and rose again for us (the Paschal Mystery) out of a deep personal love for us. “Creating the human race in His own image and continually keeping it in being, God inscribed in the humanity of every man and woman the vocation, and thus the capacity and responsibility, of love and communion. Love is therefore the fundamental and innate vocation of every human being” -St. John Paul II, Familiaris Consortio, 11.St. John Paul II reminds us in the Theology of the Body that our bodies are dignified and beautiful because they are linked to the suffering and Resurrection of Jesus. It is not just His Resurrection, but also ours, or at least it can be. How can people live without this hope? Our bodies are not bad – we do bad things with them; we sin – but our bodies are destined for glory.

Jesus wants to be in communion with us forever. Do you know who you are truly receiving when you are receiving Holy Communion? If so, why do we spend so little time in preparing to meet Him in the sacraments? Do we “run” with joy to offer Holy Mass and have the same joy we did at our first Holy Mass? Here are three things to consider: 1). we are an Easter Alleluia people – remember who you truly are and your great dignity our Father bestowed on you 2). Bring joy to the world 3). Breathe in the Holy Spirit and share Him with others. He is Risen – Alleluia Alleluia!

 

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Fr. Tom DeSimone
 was ordained a priest on May 13, 2006, the Feast day of Our Lady of Fatima. He most recently served as Parochial Vicar of Our Lady of Sorrows Parish in White Plains, NY. He joins the staff of the Theology of the Body Institute on a three year leave from the Archdiocese of New York, to become the Institute’s first full time spiritual advisor and Director of Clergy Development.

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