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  A Christian Faith Magazine March 2005, Volume 10, Issue 8  
Rev. Mark Connolly The Promise of the Resurrection
Rev. Mark Connolly
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If there is anyone day in our lives while on this earth that we should have an extraordinary surplus of hope, it is Easter Sunday. If you study all the great scholars who have written about Easter Sunday, they invariably remind us that Christ turned the tragedy of Good Friday into the victory of Easter Sunday. Easter Sunday is a reminder to every person that has cancer that one day you will experience the kingdom of God. Easter Sunday is a reminder to every teenager of the place that God has in store for you who have loved him on earth.

If you study the scriptures concerning Easter Sunday, every lesson is directed towards this virtue of hope. St. Paul reminded us in speaking of our life after this earth that your eyes have not seen nor have your ears heard what God has in store for you who have loved and served Him on earth. St. John the Apostle, in his beautiful gospel speaking about Easter Sunday, said "the former things of this world will have passed away, there will be neither mourning nor grieving because all things will lead us directly into the arms of God". St. Augustine, when talking about Easter Sunday, said "it is that time when every unanswered question will be answered and every unresolved problem will be solved". He said, "we will see and experience the mercy and justice of God".

Every one at some time in his or her life has always questioned the justice and mercy of God. Why do the people in Bangladesh have so little and we have so much? Why did the people in Asia have to go through the horrors of the Tsunami? Why do we have better health than the cancer person in the nearest hospital? Why it is that certain people no matter how hard they work and serve God never seem to get a break? All of these questions will be answered long after our life on this earth is over. When you think of the gospels and the readings of Holy Week, especially after Good Friday, all the quotations are filled with hope concerning the world that awaits us. When Christ said, "I am the Resurrection and the life, he who believes in me though he is dead will have everlasting life". When you think of the Resurrection as it applies to our life here and now, it is a challenge to our sense of faith and hope. Either you believe that Jesus Christ was the son of God who could neither lie nor deceive us, or you do not believe that He was the son of God. Either you believe He had a mission from God to bring us back to the kingdom of God or you do not.

St. Paul

For those who have little faith all we can do is encourage you to increase your faith. For those of you who have a sense of faith in the son of God, today is a reminder of the glorious world that awaits all of us. If you look in the New Testament, there are over 611 references to places like the kingdom of God, eternal happiness, heaven or everlasting peace. All point to the generosity of God wanting each one of us to have an everlasting union with Him. In the writings of St. Paul it is very clear that each one of us will experience a Resurrection with Christ, that the bodies we now have will no longer be the bodies in the Kingdom of Heaven. We will have what St. Thomas called a glorified body, a body devoid of any imperfection or any illness or any pain. When you read the writings of St. Paul he reminds us that there is going to be a reunion with all of those people on earth that lived the gospel of love as taught by Jesus Christ. If you read the writings of St. Paul, you will find that he reminds each one of us that there is a reward for all of us who have served God faithfully on earth. Jesus Christ, when He walked this earth, reminded us of His love for us as friends when He said, "Greater love than this no one has than he who lay down his life for his friend". Jesus Christ, on that Good Friday, lay down His life for each one of us. If you study the gospels of Easter Sunday, you might recall that one of the most powerful lines ever spoken by Jesus Christ were the words, "I do not come from Heaven to earth to call you my servants, but came to call you my friends". And so one of the great reasons for our hope on this Easter Sunday is that those who served and loved God can look forward to an everlasting friendship with Jesus Christ.

Being a Christian today is very hard. We have a culture that cares very little about the teachings of Christ. We have a sense of materialism that negates the value of the spiritual in our lives. We have a bias and a bigotry perpetrated against the Catholic Church for whatever reasons and it is very hard to keep our catholic mind focused on what the teachings of Jesus Christ are all about. Easter Sunday is a day of encouragement for all of us. Easter Sunday is a day of hope for all of us. Easter Sunday is a reminder in the words of Thomas Wolfe that one day we will leave this earth, we will go out beyond the stars, out beyond the planet Mars and into the arms of God.

Easter Sunday is a day when we sing Alleluia, but Easter Sunday is a reminder to all of us of the heaven that God has in store for each one of us. Happy Easter to all.

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