Jesus Is Asking You… (Part II of IV)
Either He Rose From the Dead…Or He Didn’t
Excerpts from the Weekend Retreat Talks of Father Stash Dailey
Editor’s Note: In Part I, we looked at the question that Jesus is asking, where Jesus meets us and the fact that He comes to us every day at every moment. In today’s post, we will look at Christ’s question today and the impact of the Resurrection.
The Question Today and the Resurrection
Now something is drastically different from the first time this question is posed to now, when it is posed to each one of us. When the Lord Jesus Christ poses this question to Peter and to the other Apostles, He has not yet died on the cross. He has not yet risen from the dead. But He is asking us now, 2000 years later, post-Resurrection. Whether the question is asked through the proclamation of the Gospel, or by our loved ones who call us onto the carpet for being hypocrites saying “you practice your faith and yet you don’t fully live it out,” or whether it is asked of us in the silence of our prayers when the Lord whispers within the confines of our own heart, “Who do you say that I am?”, the Resurrection has to shape the way we answer the question.
There is a plague afflicting Holy Mother the Church, a disease eating away at the Mystical Body of Christ. That is the ignorance of Resurrection. Too many Catholic Christians, too many Christians at large, too many individuals live their lives in the ignorance of the Resurrection. That is an abomination. You see, either Jesus came back from the dead or He didn’t. One or the other. There is no middle ground. Either He rose from the dead or He didn’t.
Our Holy Father Pope Francis has really shaken everything up a bit. Not within the Church, but in the world. If you actually read what he writes, and listen to what he says, he hasn’t changed anything within Holy Mother the Church. What he has changed is the message we have been proclaiming, he has altered the words adding a bit of severity. He has called the world to task reminding us of the truth that either Jesus came back from the dead or He didn’t. And for those who proclaim the name of the living God, the holy name of our Lord Jesus Christ, we had better know deep within us the reality of the Resurrection.
Impact of the Resurrection
The Resurrection is the nucleus of our faith. If He did come back from the dead, everything has been changed. Everything. We too have been affected by His Resurrection. And once we encounter Jesus Christ come back from the dead we can never be the same. In every encounter we have with the Lord, in every prayer we offer, in every Mass we attend, in every conversation we have with our loved ones who are also Christians we can never be left the same. Some element of who we are whether it is minute in size or great, some element of who we are has to be changed, has to be converted over to the Lord. The way we think, the way we pray, the way we live, the way we enter into silence, the way we use our words, the way we pray through every moment of the day. Some dimension of who we are has to be changed as a result of our encounter with Jesus Christ risen from the dead.
Once we have had that encounter with Jesus, then we start to tap into the source of everlasting life. We start to see that there is a meaning to everything. Our own identity becomes absolutely overwhelmed by the love that God has for us. Even something as difficult as the death of a spouse becomes an invitation to no longer view death as the world views it but rather as Christ defines it. When we have an encounter with Jesus Christ risen from the dead, the moment, the event, the action of the Resurrection completely redefines all of reality and that which is normal. Jesus redefines normal and we gain a perspective on life that no one else has.
Editor’s Note: In Part III, we will look at seeing and living with Resurrected eyes, the reality of the Resurrection for everyone and what it is that makes us Christian.
Art: Les disciples Jean et Pierre accourant au sépulcre le matin de la résurrection (The Disciples John and Peter Running to the Sepulchre on the Morning of the Resurrection), Eugène Burnand, 1898, Restored Traditions, used with permission.