An Easter Reflection 2023

The Gospels give us several stories of Jesus raising people from the dead—Jairus’ daughter, a widow’s only son, and Jesus’ own beloved friend, Lazarus. These people, of course, came back to this world, to the same life they had known before, and as marvelous as this was, as a sign of God’s loving power to heal and restore, the resurrection of Jesus from the dead was different.

For Jesus enters into a whole new way of life. His humanity, in its full integrity of body and soul, “passes over” into eternal life. He can still enter this world. He can still eat and drink with his disciples. He truly has a body and can be touched. But he is no longer subject to this world, or to any decay, or to the laws governing matter. As Saint Paul tells us: What is sown is perishable, what is raised is imperishable. It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power. It is sown a physical body, it is raised a spiritual body (1Cor 15:44).

So how might we apply the First Glorious Mystery to our life? The path to glory starts with the cross—there is no getting around that. But because of all that Jesus has done for us, we can have hope that it does not end there—God truly loves us and wants us to enjoy eternal life with him in heaven, in the full integrity of ourselves as human persons, in both body and soul. Jesus’ resurrection, therefore, is a pledge of the resurrection of our own body one day. But closer to home, in the here and now, let us not forget the vital impact that Jesus’ resurrection has on our soul. As the Catechism of the Catholic Church points out: united with Christ by Baptism, believers already truly participate in the heavenly life of the risen Christ ... by virtue of the Holy Spirit, Christian life is already now on earth a participation in the death and Resurrection of Christ (#1003, 1004).

Lord Jesus, consecrate us in the truth that we are loved by the Father, and are destined for a life of glory with you and all your saints!