Isn’t Resurrection great?!?
You’re beyond the power of death, your body can be touched and you can eat bread and fish, but you can walk through walls, appear and disappear at will, hey, even ascend into heaven! Yeah, sure, there are nail holes in your hands and feet and a big open wound in your side,
Ah, yes, the mark of the nails…the wound of the spear …these remain in the body of the resurrected Jesus. They remind us that his Resurrection was no easy leap from triumphal entry on Palm Sunday to empty tomb on Easter. There was condemnation and beating, scourging and torture, a cross and slow death before any rising from the dead.
Some of you have heard me use one of my father’s phrases, “Everybody wants to get to heaven, but nobody wants to die.” We all desire wonderful things for our lives, but who is willing to make the commitments, the sacrifices even, to make them realities? Pro athletes, popular actors and famous musicians, among others, know the hard work and high cost it takes to reach the pinnacle of their professions.
And great witnesses of the faith know the commitments and the costs, too. St. Peter, St. Francis, Albert Schweitzer, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Martin Luther King, Jr., Mother Teresa, Pope Francis – we admire them for their great faith and recognize they made many sacrifices, even their lives in some cases, to proclaim Christ through their work in the world.
We may not be called to be an actual martyr for our faith (though to be sure, there are many, many in our world today indeed dying for their Christian belief). But for Easter faith to have real meaning, there must be Good Friday’s death preceding it. We who live in Christ, or better said, in whom Christ lives, are challenged to die to sin and self each day, so that Christ does live more fully in our hearts and thoughts and words and deeds in the world.
I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (Gal. 2:19b-20)