More About that “Resurrection” Thing
It’s still Easter! Such an earth-shattering, universe-changing event deserves lots of attention. Especially since many people, including Catholics, misunderstand what we mean by “resurrection.” It is much more than the living-on of Jesus’ soul after death, and much more than a spirit that moves in our midst even today. The Scriptures witness to Jesus’ BODY being missing at the tomb. He lived and moved among them. They could touch His flesh. He ate fish in front of them. What happened to Jesus’ Body is what will happen to ours at the end of time.
The important question is: what does this have to do with my life now? St. Thomas Aquinas gives us four ways in which the hope Resurrection can change our lives right now.
1. We need not fret over the loss of our loved ones. If we know truly that we are awaiting a much better world to come, and that this life is very short by comparison, our grief is greatly consoled. In a very real sense, our departed love ones simply went away “for a little while. We will see them again – soon.
2. We no longer have to fear death. Nor do we need to fear any kind of suffering. Most of our temptation comes from a fear of suffering, and most of our fear of suffering is really a fear of dying. The hope of the Resurrection is what gave so many Christian martyrs the courage to stand up to persecution and threats of death. Emperors and torturers of the ancient world stood terrified at the faces of children who knew this truth deep within.
3. We are encouraged to do good deeds. Our good acts have a ripple effect – they effect people far and wide and well into the future. At the resurrection, we will be able to see the full weight of every good thing done in this life. Jesus also promises great reward for small acts of faith – in exchange for a couple of coins, the Master awards many cities!
4. We are encouraged to avoid sin. Our bad acts also have a ripple effect – and in the end, culminate in great loss. At the resurrection, the Bible says, some will be “an everlasting horror and disgrace.” If we knew that our sins project great evil into the future, we would be wise to avoid them. Thus the Resurrection is a powerful motivator to do good, not evil.
Happy Easter to all of you! He is Risen indeed!!