- Created on Saturday, April 15, 2017
- Written by Fr. Robert Novokowsky
What does the Resurrection of Jesus Christ mean to us? We, like the apostles before us, may have no clue about it. Christ said, "I have the power to lay down my life, and to pick it up again." They didn’t understand him. When the apostles and other disciples came to understand and believe, they "rejoiced." Do we rejoice? Is rejoicing an emotion? Like love, the answer is "in a way yes, and in a way no." The gospels and Acts of the Apostles show the emotional side of rejoicing quickly turns into a rational and faith-filled approach to decision making. Rejoicing, like love, turns out to be a decision.
We rejoice in the Resurrection of Jesus according to our decisions. The resurrection of Christ can inform all of our decisions. Why do you attend Mass on Sunday? The best answer is probably: "Because I believe in the Resurrection of Jesus." Why does the Catholic Church insist that you attend Mass every Sunday? Because it believes in the Resurrection of Jesus. Why do you wear modest "Sunday Clothes" on Sunday? -- Because I believe in the Resurrection of Jesus. Why do you still believe in God even in the face of horrific personal tragedy? -- Because I believe in the Resurrection of Jesus.
It is not for any small reason that we rejoice. Why do you chose to do penance every Friday of the year? Why do you purposefully have more than 2 children? Why don't you contracept? Why did you bring a condolence card over to that widow, when her husband was so disagreeable all the time? Why did you include your son-in-law in the dinner party, when he's been such a jerk to your daughter? Why did you take back your husband when he had been unfaithful? Why did you ask for a correction when you were under-charged for the groceries? Why did you take the smaller piece of the pie, when you could have taken the larger one? Why do you suffer patiently? Why are you joyful about suffering a humiliation?
We are willing to suffer the crosses in life, only with a courageous belief in the Resurrection. Rejoice! Victory is ours—if we only believe!
Happy Easter to all!