To strengthen our faith in Jesus’ Resurrection, we have most credible witnesses: the apostles. How the Resurrection experience impacted them! The book titled ‘The Lord’ by philosopher and theologian Fr. Romano Guardini discusses two key differences between Jesus before and after the Resurrection: Jesus no longer comes and goes, but ‘appears’ and ‘vanishes’ without barriers of time and space, and the evangelists emphasize that Jesus after the Resurrection is the same Jesus of Nazareth with visible wounds, not a mere spirit.
While on earth, our relationships may not be perfect and are not representative of what they will be like in heaven. But in heaven they will be perfected and come to truly reflect the love of God in all its glory.
A lack of understanding of heaven and God’s true nature led to the construing of a twisted idea of resurrection, one where there was a continuance of the base pleasures of this world. But the true resurrection is an entirely different reality in which one can hope to be completely detached from the things of the world and sublimely integrated with God.
The sacrificial love of the Cross resulted in the Resurrection for Jesus. The same applies to us in a world where love has been denigrated to the status of just an emotional experience. We need to be ready and willing to practice charity in truth at whatever cost to bring back any semblance of peace and sanity to our world.
Christian fortitude is different from secular courage in that it is firmly ensconced in faith and trust in the resurrected Christ. Only Christian fortitude has the capacity to counter evil and bring good from it through patient acceptance and the ability to forgive.
Reliving our first euphoric encounter with Christ is the means to draw back from the despondency and despair with which the Evil One and the world attempt to derail our mission as Christians. Through the life of the Apostles, especially St Peter, we see that continually keeping in mind that initial experience of Jesus is what keeps us firm and determined along our path.
The Faculty of Religious Studies and Philosophy of the University of Saint Joseph will discuss once again the existence of God in the light of modern science, this time with a particular focus on the historical dimension of Jesus Christ.
Do we promulgate faith-based and hope-filled narratives? Or do our stories evoke despondency and despair? We must keep well in mind that the nature of our narratives shapes our communities.
It is faith that helps us believe in the Resurrected Christ and acknowledge the various signs of Himself that He has left us on earth. But will we take that faith far enough to embrace His Passion and Death as our own in order to enter the embrace of our own resurrection?
Despite the pain of the trials and suffering that come our way, we must derive from them the true joy that emerges from a faithful relationship with Christ, our Savior.