3rd Sunday of Easter [C]
Do you believe in the resurrection of the body? Every time we say the Creed we are asserting that we do. Today we encounter a risen body, the first fruits of Christ's resurrection from the dead. The risen Lord moves among his disciples, initially hidden from them (v. 4) and then cooking and sharing breakfast with them. Our faith is firmly rooted in Jesus' resurrection from the dead. We believe it, proclaim it and live by it. The entire Christian faith is based on this most profound truth that death could not hold Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus is the only human being that death could have power over.
The joy of our faith is that we share in this wonderful blessing. Many of us have seen a corpse — perhaps the body of a loved one. It is always and without fail a traumatic experience in which one knows immediately that the person we loved so dearly has gone - the body is simply a shell because the soul has left the body. We do not think too much about these things, and more is the pity. Many today think of being spiritual as having little to do with the body — as if true spirituality is more to do with the soul and the spirit. But this is not Christian teaching.
Jesus came to save and redeem us body and soul. As Paul so eloquently put it: 'If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he.. .will give life to your mortal bodies also through his Spirit which dwells in you' (Rom. 8:11).
How confident are you in the resurrection, both Jesus' and your own? Tertullian, the second-century theologian, said: 'The confidence of Christians is the resurrection of the dead; believing this we live.' We say a hearty and healthy 'Amen' to this truth. Of course, there is great mystery surrounding the resurrection of the dead. We do not know what kind of body it will be. Most of us don't like our bodies very much, which is a great pity for they are God's gift to us. The problem with the body is that it is subject to corruption, death and decay. However, we live in the hope that God will raise us up body and soul on the last day.
Lord, you are the Resurrection and the Life.Teach me to take hold of the truth that death is not the end but the beginning.
Acts 5:27-32, 40-41
Psalm 29(30):2-6, 11-13Revelation 5:11-14