Alleluia, Our Lord Is Risen!
Having journeyed with our Lord Jesus Christ during His passion, we can now share in the glory of His resurrection. Alleluia, Our Lord Is Risen! But do we feel renewed now that our Lord has risen from the dead? The Tomb of our Lord Jesus Christ located within the Holy Sepulcher Church in Jerusalem marks both the burial place and the place from where our Lord resurrected. A painting of the Risen Lord is at the top of the Tomb. In our Church here at St. Ignatius, we have a statue of the Risen Lord. Do we believe that the Lord is indeed risen? Do we believe in the resurrection of the body as stated in our creed?
In case we experience a bit of a doubt, we need not worry as the disciples themselves initially doubted the news of the resurrection until Jesus appeared to them in person. In Luke Chapter 24:36-40, Jesus had to allay the fears and doubts of the disciples including the statement that a ghost had no flesh and bones as He had. They believed Him only after he asked for food and ate with them. In the Gospel of John, the Risen Lord showed His hands and sides to his disciples after greeting them with the words “Peace be with you!” Even when told about this later, Thomas still did not believe that the Lord Jesus was alive. At the end though, Thomas declared “My Lord and my God!”
After His resurrection, the Lord appeared to his disciples a third time at the Lake of Tiberius (Galilee), a region where he lived and worked with His disciples, according to John’s Gospel. This makes it look like nothing had actually changed between the time that Jesus was alive and after His resurrection. He still cared for his disciples and prepared breakfast for them after a night of fishing with no fishes caught until the Lord stepped in. This was the place where Jesus asked Peter to “feed my sheep” after having fed them breakfast. The Catholic Church (Church of the Primacy of St. Peter) at this location still has a large rock said to be the table of Christ on which Jesus served breakfast to His apostles in front of its altar. The Church itself is only a few meters from the shores of the Sea of Galilee. In the courtyard of the Church of the Primacy of St. Peter are a number of open and outdoor chapels where the faithful can hold Masses to affirm their belief in the resurrected Lord.
“Jesus’ death and resurrection express a reality that is complicated, emotionally moving, and yet joyful. Death does not have the last word. And that is indeed the good news. God is the one who will be there for us! God is the one who is concerned and cares for us! God is the one who, as we pray in Psalm 34, hears the cry of the poor!” —from The Last Words of Jesus: A Meditation on Love and Suffering by Daniel P. Horan, OFM
Lent is over and we are indeed happy that our Lord is risen. Death did not have the final word and we are not expected to look among the dead for the Living One. Nevertheless, we are called upon to continue to fully and whole-heartedly participate in prayer, fasting, almsgiving and many more Christian and charitable activities that we did during Lent. Having risen from the dead with body and soul, our Lord continues to be in our midst through the lives of our family members and neighbors. By going to the aid of others in need, we are obeying the command of the Lord to love our neighbor. Our acts of kindness to others will also be in accordance with Jesus’ exhortation that whatsoever we do to the least of our brothers, we do it unto Him. Let us continue to live our Christian lives with renewed strength and joy from the Risen Lord! Let us continue to journey with our Risen Lord!
By Raymond Gasu