Easter is when we celebrate “the crowning truth of our faith in Christ.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 638)
It’s among the top major events so far. Depending on how you count them, there have been only three to six: the creation of this universe; humanity’s creation and fall; and our Lord’s arrival, execution, and resurrection.
There’s another big one coming, eventually: the Last Judgment.1 I take Matthew 24:36, 44; Matthew 25:13; Mark 13:32–33 quite seriously, so I don’t try second-guessing God the Father. (December 11, 2016; August 7, 2016)
“The heavens declare the glory of God; the sky proclaims its builder’s craft.”
“3 Raise your eyes to the heavens, and look at the earth below; Though the heavens grow thin like smoke, the earth wears out like a garment and its inhabitants die like flies, My salvation shall remain forever and my justice shall never be dismayed.”
Turns out that the “ancient mountains” aren’t all that old. Not on a cosmic scale.
I don’t see a problem with that.
Even if I did; I hope I’d have the sense to figure that God’s God, I’m not, and that my job doesn’t include telling God how the universe should work.
Understanding how this universe works may be another matter, and that’s another topic. (December 9, 2016)
As I see it, what we’re learning about the cosmic scale of this creation is cause for greater admiration of God’s work, and that’s yet another topic. (October 28, 2016; September 23, 2016; July 15, 2016)
The first of us — Adam and Eve aren’t German — listened to Satan, ignoring what God had said.
But humanity is still made “in the divine image.” (Genesis 1:27)
Loving ourselves, others, and God is a struggle because the harmony we had with ourselves and with the universe is broken. Our nature is wounded: but not corrupted. (Catechism, 355–361, 374–379, 398, 400, 405, 1701–1707, 1949)
“For God so loved the world that he gave 7 his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life.
Jesus was born in Bethlehem. Reactions at the time were mixed.
Shepherds and Magi thought it was good news, Herod didn’t, and that’s yet again another topic. (January 15, 2017)
We reviewed Mathew’s account of our Lord’s final Passover meal last week; and kept reading until Matthew 27:66, where guards sealed Christ’s tomb.
“1 2 When he had said this, Jesus went out with his disciples across the Kidron valley to where there was a garden, into which he and his disciples entered.”
“So they laid Jesus there because of the Jewish preparation day; for the tomb was close by.”
(John 18:1, 19:42)
All four Gospels agree on what happened next, although the accounts don’t quite match up: by American standards.3
That’s where it gets interesting.
Two millennia later, we’re still celebrating.
Pope St. John Paul II called the Resurrection of Jesus “the fundamental event upon which Christian faith rests … the fulcrum of history.”4
“9 For since death came through a human being, the resurrection of the dead came also through a human being.
What happens next depends on whether or not we decide to accept or reject God’s grace. What we’ve done with our life matters, too. (John 14:15; 2 Timothy 1:9–10; James 2:14–19; Catechism, 1021–1022, 1987–2016)
What our Lord expects is simple, but not easy.
I should love God, love my neighbor, see everyone as my neighbor, treat others as I want to be treated. (Matthew 7:12, Matthew 22:36–40, Mark 12:28–31; Matthew 5:43–44; Mark 12:28–31; Luke 10:25–30; Catechism, 1825)
I try to love God and neighbor because I follow the Man who is God.
By any reasonable standard, that’s a big deal.
There’s more to being a Christian than celebrating and waiting for our Lord’s return. I’m expected to live as if loving my neighbors and loving God matter.
Truly respecting the “transcendent dignity” of humanity, and each person, isn’t easy: but it’s something I must do. (Catechism, 1929)
We’ve made some progress: and have a very great deal left to do.
Like I keep saying, my guess is that we’ll still be waiting and working when the 8.2 kiloyear event, Y2K, and Y10K are seen as roughly contemporary. (February 5, 2017; November 27, 2016; October 30, 2016)
But the war is over. We won. We’re already in “the last hour,” and have been for two thousand years. This world’s renewal is in progress, and nothing can stop it. (Matthew 16:18; Mark 16:6; Catechism, 638, 670)
More of my take on the best news ever:
- “‘Wait For It’”
(October 2, 2016)
- “‘Good News of Great Joy’”
(December 25, 2016)
- “Advent and Being Prepared”
(November 27, 2016)
- “Jesus and Expectations”
(December 11, 2016)
- “Sin, Awareness, Repentance”
(December 4, 2016)
More of my take on Final Judgment and getting a grip:
- “The Speckled Axe” (April 9, 2017)
- “Last Judgment: Still Pending” (August 7, 2016)
“The Church ‘forcefully and specifically exhorts all the Christian faithful. . . to learn the surpassing knowledge of Jesus Christ, by frequent reading of the divine Scriptures. Ignorance of the Scriptures is ignorance of Christ.112”
(Catechism of the Catholic Church, 133)
It’s literally ‘Catholicism 101:’
- “Fast Radio Bursts” (March 17, 2017)
- “Numbers and Nero” (November 8, 2016)
- “God, Angels, and Belshazzar” (February 21, 2016)
- “Faith, the Universe, and Wisdom” (February 19, 2016)
4 From Pope Saint John Paul II’s “Dies Domini” (Day of the Lord):
“…The Resurrection of Jesus is the fundamental event upon which Christian faith rests (cf. 1 Cor 15:14). It is an astonishing reality, fully grasped in the light of faith, yet historically attested to by those who were privileged to see the Risen Lord. It is a wondrous event which is not only absolutely unique in human history, but which lies at the very heart of the mystery of time. In fact, ‘all time belongs to [Christ] and all the ages’, as the evocative liturgy of the Easter Vigil recalls in preparing the Paschal Candle. Therefore, in commemorating the day of Christ’s Resurrection not just once a year but every Sunday, the Church seeks to indicate to every generation the true fulcrum of history, to which the mystery of the world’s origin and its final destiny leads….”
(“Dies Domini,” Pope Saint John Paul II (Pentecost, May 31, 1998))
More about the Resurrection:
- Catechism of the Catholic Church, 638–655
- “Fear of resurrection”
Pope Francis, via L’Osservatore Romano (19 September 19, 2014)
- “A mystery of hope, forgiveness and resurrection”
Luigi Giussani Jubilee 2000 magazine (2000)
- “Address to organizers and members of the Symposium on the Resurrection of Christ”
Pope Blessed Paul VI (April 4, 1970)
- “Christ the source of resurrection and life”
From an Easter homily by an ancient author (Sermo 35, 6-9; PL 17 [ed. 1879], 696-697)
Prepared by the Spiritual Theology Department of the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross