07 Resplendent Reality of the Resurrection - Fr. Anthony Charanghat

posted Apr 16, 2019, 8:59 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Apr 16, 2019, 8:59 AM ]
The Easter liturgy this year provides a wonderful opportunity to reflect on the significance of the resplendent reality of the Resurrection of Christ and make it pivotal to the practise of our faith-life. An interesting aspect of early Christian history is that the resurrection, not the cross, was the central theme of Christian preaching. What does it mean that Jesus has been raised? What does it mean for Jesus himself, and what does the Risen Christ say not just to us as individuals but to human history and to the world around us?

Many contemporary Christians assume the cross has always been the focal point of Christian faith. Certainly, the cross is vital to our faith, for it was the means through which Jesus atoned for our sins. But listen to St Paul's words: "If Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith . . . if Christ has not been raised then you are still in your sins. But Christ has in fact been raised from the dead, the first fruits of all who have fallen asleep.” (1 Cor. 15:14, 20)

Paul is clearly saying that the historical new reality of the Risen Presence of Jesus Christ is the crowning truth of our faith. This truth is believed and lived as central to our faith-life as Christians. In his Resurrection, Jesus did not just return to his previous earthly state, before his death. The resurrected life of Jesus is not the mortal life as we know it. If that was the case, then he will die again. In his resurrection, Christ entered into God's very Life and whose presence permeates the whole of creation.

Possessing God’s Life, Jesus is no longer confined to and determined by time and space. He can enter closed doors. He can penetrate fearful and shut hearts. He can walk with us, even if we do not recognize him. The Risen Jesus in no way belongs to the realm of death. Jesus has conquered the finality of death. Jesus’ resurrection is not only a real event in concrete history but an event that changes history. This is the ‘Truth’ of the Resurrection, the foundation of Truth itself, that acts as a rampart against the culture of ‘fake news’ and ‘alternative truths’ taking root in society today.

When we as Christians celebrate Easter, we celebrate the fact that Christ is risen from the dead and that he lives in our hearts and illumines our minds through the light, power and presence of the Holy Spirit, who is the Lord and the Giver of Life. In celebrating Easter, we are celebrating life itself, and life to the full. From the darkness of his death, the light of eternal life shone out in all its brightness when Jesus, the Light of the world, was raised to new life.

We will know that resplendent reality of His Resurrection, when we allow Christ who lives in us, to make our own lives sources of light, love and life for others; when our words heal and encourage truth to prevail; when our hearts come alive with love to restore broken relations; when we stand firm in defence of the respect, dignity and value of life itself in all its aspects.

Easter becomes a reality in our own lives when people are healed, consoled and strengthened by the life-giving love we show to each other, and especially to those in need. Easter is real when we become living signs and symbols of the presence of the risen Christ in our world, and of the values which he taught during his life on earth. Christian behaviour springs from communion with the risen Jesus, just as Christian celebration is a life led in conformity with the person of Jesus Christ.