Truly, He Is Still Risen!

04-12-2020Pastor's LetterFather Gregory Wilson

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, In the midst of the darkness and uncertainly that this passing world offers, Christ is still risen! Truly, He is risen! One thing that hasn’t changed a bit is the message of the Paschal (a word that means Passover) Mystery. Christ is our Passover, says St. Paul. He is the true and unblemished Lamb, whose Blood marks the doors of our houses / our temples / our bodies. Therefore, everlasting death, the plague of sin, passes over the houses marked with His Blood, as it did for the Israelites in the final plague of Egypt (see Exodus 11:1- 12:51), freeing them from slavery. The Passion, Death, and Resurrection of Jesus Christ frees us from the slavery of sin and sin’s final consequence – eternal death.

Before the Resurrection, life beyond the rhythm of your heartbeat was still uncertain, even for the Jews. Jesus did not merely resurrect in the hearts or minds of a few odd followers. His Resurrection was a historical event, witnessed by hundreds of people who had known Him before He died, and then saw Him afterward (see 1 Cor 15:6). It was seen by the people (Apostles) who had given up all hope, had scattered, and were still afraid to be seen lest they be arrested. One of our greatest persecutors – Saul (later, St. Paul) – was firmly opposed to Jesus and His message. Saul clearly did not believe in the Resurrection and was even chasing down His followers (see Acts 8:1-3), until a radical vision of the Risen Christ put him on the road to conversion (see Acts 9:1-19).

If our present state of affairs with the pandemic can teach us anything, it is that this world and all our kingdoms will all pass away. This shouldn’t surprise us. Maybe it does. Perhaps we even unwittingly fell into the comfort of “my kingdom come; my will be done.” Jesus, God and man, has risen in a glorified body that could be seen and touched, and so my “my” must bow to His “thy” – “Thy Kingdom come.” It is the only Kingdom that does not pass away. “Thy will be done.” The only will that is truly perfect.

This is not a myth, folks. It’s time to leave the comfort of our created worlds behind and put our faith in the real thing: the everlasting world to which we are all called through a Final Judgment, through which we will all pass.

 “The resurrection means that God has not given up on his creation. … God made the whole array of finite things…and found it all good, even very good. … Finally, he sent his only Son, the perfect icon or incarnation of his love. In raising that Son from the dead, God definitively saved and ratified his creation, very much including the material dimension of it (which is why it matters that Jesus was raised bodily from death). Over and again, we have said no to what God has made, but God stubbornly says yes. Inspired by this divine yes, we always have a reason to hope.” (- Bishop Robert Barron)

Yours in Resurrection hope and joy, Father Wilson