Easter, April 1
The resurrection of Jesus Christ is not an explanation; it is not a proof spanning ten pages or 800 pages. The resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ from the dead is a proclamation, an announcement, a decree that providence ordained and fulfilled in the New Adam, Jesus Christ, and then poured, by the power of the Spirit, into all believers in every nation who fear God and do what is acceptable to him (Acts 10:35). On this most solemn day, the chosen witnesses of the resurrection, the whole body of the Church, will not and must not attenuate its central claim or otherwise subject it to scrutiny in the hope of satisfying the cultured despisers of religion. This is the Church’s life, its very being, the blood of its body, the marrow of its bone. Alleluia. Christ is risen.
Life begins at this moment, the moment when Christ is known and loved as the one who has conquered death. He is the brightness of a new life, a sacred flame, the Paschal lamb, the one who liberates from the gloom of sin, the destroyer of death and hell, the restorer of innocence, joy to those who mourn, the Morning Star that knows no setting (Exsultet). He became what we are, so that we might become what he is. We are sons and daughters of the resurrection, members of Christ’s risen body. This announcement from God came to a group of frightened disciples as pure joy and pure gift. Even now, the resurrection is announced in the Church and takes root in receptive souls as a deep truth beyond all knowing. And yet, like Job, the Church says, I know that my redeemer lives, I know that he stands upon the earth. This knowing is inspired, given, and sustained by God. The Lord gives, and this one thing the Lord will not take away: the eternal life of the risen Son imputed to the Church and infused as its soul.
“Early on the first day of the week; while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the tomb” (John 20:1). She ran to Simon Peter and the other disciple. After hearing her report, Simon and the other disciple rushed to the tomb. They found it open and empty. They saw, and, in a manner, they believed. “On this holy mountain,” the prophet said, “the Lord of hosts will make for all peoples a feast of rich food, a feast of well-aged wines, of rich food filled with marrow, of well-aged wines strained clear. And he will destroy on this mountain the shroud that is cast over all peoples, the sheet that is spread over all nations; he will swallow up death forever” (Isa. 25:6-8).
The prophet’s promise is revealed in the empty space where Jesus was. The God for whom all ages waited has appeared and has saved from the grip of sin and death. “This is the Lord’s doing and it is marvelous in our eyes” (Ps. 118:23).
We who know the risen Lord know him because his Spirit has been poured into us; we know him because he has called us by name, we know him because we eat and drink his new life in the Eucharist.
We know him as chosen witnesses. We did not choose him; he chose us. He went before us to our home and communities; he revealed himself and made the Church the sign of his risen life. Alleluia. Christ is risen. The Lord is risen indeed. He is going ahead of you, to meet you where you are.
Look It Up
Read Psalm 118.
Think About It
Glad songs of victory.