The Most Rev. Francis
Titular Archbishop of Devon
of the Resurrection fills the whole world! The Lord of heaven and
earth is alive and has all power and authority. For six weeks of
Lent, we journeyed with the Lord, reflecting upon our sinfulness,
our shortcomings and our need for repentance and reconciliation.
Now, because of the Lord’s immense love for each of us, we
are a forgiven people. By His Passion and Death upon the Cross,
Christ has made it possible for us to attain eternal life. The Resurrection
of Jesus stands as a momentous event in the history of the world.
By rising from the dead, Jesus destroyed the power of sin forever
and the Kingdom of God advances decisively.
Regretfully, there are some people, including some calling themselves
Christians as well as misguided biblical scholars, who question
the importance of the bodily Resurrection of Jesus. Such as these,
unfortunately, fail to understand how our Faith rests on Jesus’
rising from the dead. The Resurrection is central to our Faith.
The Apostle, St. Paul reminds us in his first letter to the Christians
at Corinth: “If Christ be not risen again, your faith is vain
(1 Cor15:14). The early Church believed that the Resurrection of
Christ fulfilled the hopes and beliefs of God’s covenanted
people (Acts 2:24-31). They understood it to fulfill Jesus’
words about Himself (Matt 20:19). Many witnesses came to attest
the authenticity of the Resurrection. In addition to the eleven
apostles to whom Jesus appeared in the forty days following the
Resurrection (Acts 1:3), over five hundred brethren saw the Risen
Lord at another time (1Cor 15:6). The Resurrection above all constitutes
the confirmation of all Christ’s work and teaching. The Paschal
mystery that we celebrate during this season has two aspects. First,
by His Death, Christ liberates us from sin. Secondly, by His Resurrection,
He opens for us the way to a new life and reinstates us in God’s
grace. This mew life, filled with the Holy Spirit, makes it possible
for us to be open to the working of the Risen Lord in our lives.
The Risen Lord invites us to leave the sidelines and become full
participants in the continuing work of salvation. By our baptism
into the community of Faith, we became members of the Body of Christ,
which is the Church. Now we must take up the challenge to fulfill
the mission of the Church, which is to sanctify and change the world.