This is the message that is at the heart of Christian identity. In the 15th chapter of St. Paul’s first letter to the Church in Corinth, he proclaims the truth of the resurrection.
If there is no resurrection of the dead, Christ himself has not been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is void of content and your faith is empty too…Because if the dead are not raised, then Christ was not raised; and if Christ was not raised then your faith is worthless. You are still in your sins, and those who have fallen asleep in Christ are the deadest of the dead. If our hopes in Christ are limited to this life only, we are the most pitiable of men and women.
The belief we have in the victory of the resurrection is something that we often take for granted. I would urge you to imagine what it would be like if you did not believe this great truth. I often do that very thing. I try to imagine what it would be like if I stood at the grave of my father and mother without the belief that for them life is changed and not end. I try to imagine what it would be like to face the death of dear friends without the promise of life eternal. I try to imagine what it would be like to face the pain and suffering of this life without the confidence of faith that allowed the mystic Julian of Norwich to proclaim, “all shall be well, and all shall be well”.
Because we are believers in the resurrection, we are not afraid to confront the difficulties of life. Because we are believers in the resurrection, we are not afraid to lay down our lives for others. Because we are believers in the resurrection, we overcome our fears. Our hope can be seen in the lyrics of the song by Bette Midler “the Rose”
“When the night has been too lonely, and the road has been too long, and you think that love is only for the lucky and the strong. Just remember, in the winter, far beneath the bitter snows, lies the seed that with the sun’s love, in the spring, becomes the rose.”
Alleluia! He is risen. He is truly risen!! Fr. Richard M. Sudlik, OMI, Director