Easter celebrates hope of the Resurrection

| Deacon Jake Greiner | March 26, 2013 | 0 Comments

jesus_colorDepending on whether you attend the Easter Vigil or one of the Easter Sunday liturgies this year, the Gospel reading could be different because of the options given by the Church to mark this solemnity. These many testimonies to the resurrection of Jesus Christ within the four Gospels highlight the importance of this event in our Catholic faith.

As St. Paul says poignantly in his first letter to the Corinthians, “If Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain” (1 Corinthians 15:14), and the Catechism of the Catholic Church describes the resurrection of Jesus Christ as the “crowning truth of our faith in Christ” (CCC 638).

These statements describe how the future of mankind, if fully incorporated in the Body of Christ, is linked to the Resurrected Christ. The pain of death, caused by original sin, has been broken through the death and ­resurrection of Jesus Christ, and we now live in hope that we can share fully in the new life won by Jesus Christ.

As Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI suggests in his book “Jesus of Nazareth: Holy Week,” the resurrection of Jesus Christ allows for a “new possibility of human existence” that “affects everyone and opens up the future, a new kind future, for mankind” (244).

What is this future? We, though sinners, hope that one day we too will be resurrected from the dead on the last day to be united with the risen Jesus Christ forever. The separation of our souls from our bodies upon our deaths will be undone, so the fullness of life offered to us by God may finally be fulfilled.

Guided by the Church

The Church, through her ministry, is helping to shepherd mankind toward this future. Therefore, the message of the Church, especially in light of the Resurrection, is one of tremendous hope. Sin can be washed away. Death will not conquer.

Jesus Christ has prepared the way for each of us to follow, and he ultimately accompanies us on every step of this journey through our reception of the Eucharist while we traverse through this “vale of tears.”

Hence, this is the reason that every Sunday Mass is supposed to call each of us to remember the hope and joy of the resurrection.

The Easter season, which begins with the celebration of Easter Sunday, is dedicated to reflecting upon the resurrection, a central mystery of our faith, in light of purification that we have undergone throughout the Lenten season.

We, through the gift of grace, have died to sin through our Lenten acts of prayer, fasting and almsgiving so we may deepen our faith, hope and love through a 50-day meditation on the hope that we now possess in Jesus Christ through his death and resurrection.

Let us pray that the good work that we have begun in Lent may continue and deepen during this Easter season.

Deacon Jake Greiner is in formation for the priesthood at the St. Paul Seminary for the Diocese of Davenport. His home parish is Holy Trinity Parish in Keota, Iowa, and his teaching parish is Mary Queen of Peace in Rogers.

Readings

Sunday, March 31
Easter Sunday of the Resurrection of the Lord

  • Acts 10:34a, 37-43
  • Colossians 3:1-4
  • John 20:1-9

Reflection

How has your Lenten season helped to prepare you for Easter?

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Category: Sunday Scriptures