The Resurrection of the Dead

Easter

‘He is not here; but go, tell his disciples that he goes before you into Galilee; there you shall see him as he told you.’
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Beloved in Jesus Christ,
today is Easter, the day that Our Lord conquers death, and sin, and Satan. 
He leads the way for us;
we walk in the Lord’s footsteps in this life, sharing in his life; we die, but we have this promise of being resurrected, alive on the Last Day, in the world to come.
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Our dear Lord had once told his apostles, ‘You will see me again; and on that day, you will rejoice.’ The horrors of Christ’s death, followed by the surprise of his resurrection, produced the most profound joy in those apostles.
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When the women had told them that Jesus was alive, they first called it nonsense. It was an idea that was too good to be true. And even when they saw the Lord, it says: ‘They disbelieved and marveled for joy!’
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The most cruel, horrid, humiliating defeat one day – the most glorious resurrection, three days later. This is the surprise of joy that God wishes for us as well, on the Last Day.
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A young woman missed her deceased mother very much – one night, she had a dream, that coming home, she found her mother there, in the kitchen cooking. ‘I was embracing my mother,’ she said. I was so happy, I was so happy!’ ‘When I awoke, I knew it was a dream, but I cherish that dream; I cherish and remember it, because I know it will be true one day.’
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Easter is the greatest feast of the year because it makes life worth living, it gives us hope; it is the meaning and the goal of our entire religion. It is the whole reason Jesus came into the world, to make it possible for each of us to be forgiven of our sins, and to one day be resurrected, alive, with all those we love – with God – in heaven.
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A few years back, we were concluding the burial prayers at the cemetery for an older lady; naturally, the prayers speak often of the Resurrection of the Body, but most people do not think about it. Afterward, a mother and her children walked over to chat; it turns out that the deceased was a very dear aunt to the children, Aunt Anne.
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They looked up at me with their sad little hearts, so I decided to tell them the Gospel. I said, ‘Do you kids want to know a secret?’ They did.  I said, ‘Look out at this vast cemetery; you see those thousands of graves and tombs there?’ Their eyes scanned the rolling hills, the myriad of tombstones.
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‘Those graves are all people who are waiting. And on the Last Day, Jesus is going to wake everyone up and have them go to paradise with him, and it will be the happiest day in the world. One boy asked me: ‘Aunt Anne too?’ ‘Yes,’ I said, ‘Aunt Anne too.’ And they were very happy, because they had Faith. They were happy, because it was the first time they had heard the greatest teaching of the Catholic Faith.
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It is the magnificent promise that Jesus makes to us, to his faithful disciples; it is when hope will be turned into joy; our entire life is rushing toward this goal.
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May the Blessed Virgin pray for us; Mary, pray for us, to always have this great faith in the resurrection of the Body, and the life of the world to come.

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[Entrusted to the prayers of St. Philomena]

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