St. Paul speaks of the crucial aspect of the resurrection of Jesus Christ in the life of the faith. Indeed, the resurrection of the Lord opens the door between this life and the next.
Tag Archives: Resurrection
Martha gives witness to the words of Jesus that He is “the resurrection and the life.” May her example inspire our faith!
Study: Where do you find your faith renewed? What activities build up your relationship with the Lord?
Pray: Is there someone in your life who is searching for God? Pray that the Lord gives you guidance to say and do what is helpful.
Serve: Is there a situation or activity where your time and talent can help others grow closer to the Lord? How can you get involved?
The readings this week are filled with power and zeal. The resurrection of Jesus inspires the early Church, and their encounter with the Risen Lord in the breaking of the bread testifies to the enduring grace we receive every time we come to Mass. Take a look:
- 1st Reading – Peter boldly proclaims the Good News to the crowd
- Psalm – “Lord, you will show us the path of life.”
- 2nd Reading – the resurrection renews us to live by God’s grace
- Gospel – Jesus explains the Scriptures and is made known in the breaking of the bread
A pattern emerges: an encounter with the Risen Lord changes our lives in dynamic and life-giving ways. Peter is no longer timid or afraid to stand up for Christ; Christians conduct themselves with faith and hope; the disciples have their minds opened and hearts burning as Jesus is present to them in the breaking of the bread.
It is the depth of this change that bears close inspection. These people are renewed and empowered with a strength and conviction that can inspire us today. They burn with the flame of faith, and through the example and witness of their lives the Gospel message will spread like wildfire.
This is our task today. As we look to the early Church, we acknowledge that NOTHING was easy for them. Their trust in God put them in the path of tremendous obstacles, trials and persecutions. And yet with God’s grace their triumphed…and we can, too.
I’d like to suggest a simple two-step process:
- Where do we encounter the Lord in our lives today?
- How can we invite others to experience what gives us life?
The first question requires us to pause and reflect on the prayers, sacraments, fellowship and other life-giving activities that renew our hearts. The second question challenges us to step out in faith and invite those we know and love to encounter the Risen Lord. May the faith of the early Church inspire us to proclaim the Good News with passion and joy!
Note: This post was first published on April 24, 2017.
Study: Consider a time when you experienced joy in the presence of others. What caused it?
Pray: Draw near to the Risen Lord and ask for His grace in your heart to face whatever is before you today.
Serve: How can your life strengthen your family and friendships right now?
The readings today give us a snapshot of some key points that surfaced shortly after the Lord’s resurrection:
- 1st Reading – Thankful praise and sharing in community life
- Psalm – “Give thanks to the Lord for he is good, His love is everlasting.”
- 2nd Reading – Christ’s resurrection lets us rejoice in the midst of trials
- Gospel – Doubting Thomas
What do we see? Praise, gratitude, thankfulness, sharing, community life, overcoming doubt, facing trials, and rejoicing! In other words, this is what happens to a group of people who have been transformed by the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
And I want to live like this.
Frankly, I want all of us to live like this. Filled with God’s grace, empowered by the Holy Spirit, engaging life at full throttle, dealing with difficulty through the power of faith….is there any other way to live?
So…in the light of these concepts that emerged from the fledgling Church…what’s keeping us from this? Has the resurrection of the Lord “sunk in” and touched our hearts? Do we understand what it means to say “The Lord is risen! He is risen, indeed!” as followers of Jesus Christ?
Do we get it?
We all have obstacles, challenges, and the reality of temptation and sin in our lives. That was true for the Early Church as well. But note this: they changed. In the light of the Risen Lord their lives were forever altered: praising God, facing hardship, working together, filled with joy.
This is our invitation today, and it works in three simple steps:
- Accept the resurrection of Jesus Christ
- Bring the Lord’s power into your heart
- Change whatever is not worthy of Heaven and live in his Light
There is no better way to journey through this life!
Note: This post was first published on April 17, 2017.
Once we recognize and affirm the resurrection of the Lord, everything changes: Faith, Hope and Love ignite as our hearts are transformed with God’s saving power. May the joy of this day inspire us to live our lives for Risen Savior!
The Light of Christ shines in the darkness and dispels the power of sin and death. This holy night celebrates our redemption with the power of God’s boundless love. Rejoice! The Lord is risen! He is risen, indeed!
The miracle of Lazarus reveals the power of Jesus Christ and the hope we have in the Lord. May these matters of life and death inspire us to respond to the needs of our world with conviction and compassion.
Jesus tells us that we will be like the angels in the resurrection. While the magnitude and beauty of eternal life is beyond our wildest imagination, we get a glimpse in some of the sweetest moments of our earthly experiences.
As disciples of Jesus Christ, we anchor our hope in a simple fact: Christ has been raised from the dead. The Lord’s triumph over sin and death fundamentally alters the universe and we have hope of eternal life. May the power of the resurrection direct every aspect of our lives!
Study: What comes to mind when you think of Heaven? Have you or someone you know ever had a near-death experience? How does thinking of Heaven shape how you live your life?
Pray: Is there something that is keeping you away from God? Take time to pray and consider receiving the Sacrament of Confession.
Serve: Are there any tasks that you have neglected that would cause hardship to others if you died suddenly? What steps can you take to make sure that you are ready when the Lord calls you home?
Both the 1st Reading and the Gospel point to the resurrection of the dead. In the Second Book of Maccabees we hear how those who are tortured for their faith find hope in the resurrection to eternal life, and in the Gospel of Luke Jesus teaches the Sadducees that the dead will rise.
To talk about heaven is not some sort of “pie in the sky” thinking. We look to this world – where we experience birth, life and death – as a pilgrim progress. We are travelers passing through, confident that there is more to the journey when death comes our way.
This understanding of the resurrection of the dead is thus both a consolation and a challenge. As a consolation we have hope! We seek to love and know the Lord in this life so that we are prepared to be with him forever in heaven. Life on earth leads to the eternal; we find that our longings in this world point toward a fulfillment that comes in the next chapter of our story.
Yet the challenge is also real. Will we be prepared at the hour of our death? Will we look upon the face of Jesus with love, or will shame, fear, sin and vice drive us away? For in the end all will be fully known: either we will run to the Lord to seek his mercy for our sins, or we will run away because we see our sins as insurmountable obstacles.
The Church Fathers used the image of Holy Fire as a fitting example. When we are called from this life we will stand before the burning fire of God’s love. The elect will draw near to this fire for warmth (and very possibly) a cleansing that burns away all impurities. The damned will simply burn up…unable to receive the mercy and grace. Why? Because they did not acknowledge their sins and accept God’s mercy and forgiveness during their journey on earth.
As we head toward the end of the Liturgical Year and the Extraordinary Year of Mercy, I invite all of us to ponder life, death and resurrection – seeking the Lord’s saving grace in this life so that we are prepared to meet Jesus Christ in the eternal life to come.
Note: This post was first published on October 31, 2016.
The Last Judgment, Michelangelo, 1536-1541, Sistine Chapel, Rome. Photo credit: Dennis Jarvis.