What can we learn from the mystery of the Lord’s Resurrection?
Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
As we celebrate Easter Sunday today, let us ask one another this very important question on the foundation of our Christian faith in Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior: is there any difference between the mystery of the Resurrection of the Lord and the process of medical methods to bring back to life a person who was physically dead? If “yes”, then what is the difference?
The life that we all live now is natural life, a life limited in time and space, affected by natural laws, common to all creatures on earth.
We were born, we have grown up, we are aging, and we will one day leave this natural life. That is how we are conditioned by the rule of time.
About the time limit of human life, Sacred Scripture has something to teach us, mortal being:
“Our years end like a sigh. Seventy is the sum of our yeas, or eighty if we are strong; most of them are sorrow and toil; they pass quickly, we are all but gone.”
We are limited by space, too. When we gather here to worship God in this church, we can by no means be present at the same time in our home, taking care of our family.
We need food and drink when we are hungry and thirsty. We need to catch up with the demands of social relationships and environment living conditions. In order to survive we have to spend much time and energy to satisfy all the needs of our natural life. But we all know that we will soon come to the end of this life.
At the most profound bottom of our heart, however, we always nurture our strong desire for life eternal, a life that lasts forever. This is by no means a vain aspiration, because it is no one other than God Himself Who, from the creation of the human person after His image has put this beautiful dream in our heart. By so doing God has made a promise that, besides this natural life which we are enjoying in this world we will be given another life that is much more beautiful, much more happier, much more perfect, much more satisfactory, and that is, above all everlasting.
This life is the new life in full communion in love with God, modelled after the life of the Risen Lord, the life which all of us long for as we strongly and convincingly profess in the Creed: “We believe in the resurrection of the dead.”
Saint Paul teaches us of the many differences between the natural life and the life in the mystery of the resurrection:
“it is sown corruptible; it is raise incorruptible. It is sown dishonorable; it is raised glorious. It is sown weak; it is raised powerful. It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual one.”
Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, sums up those differences in a simple teaching:
“at the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage but are like the angels in heaven.”
This New Life in communion with the Risen Lord we have received since we were baptized in our faith in the Suffering, Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ. This New Life in the Mystery of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ we have been developing to perfection through an ongoing conversion, meaning to say a an unceasing going back to God. Put this in Saint Paul’s words all we have to do is the following:
“I have been crucified with Christ ;yet I live, no longer I, but Christ lives in me”.
The great Apostle then concludes: “if we have died with Him we shall also live with Him; if we persevere we shall also reign with Him.”
Fr. Francis Xavier Nguyen Van Nhut. O.P.