Let’s Rise Together

Easter Sunday
        Beloved in Jesus Christ,  yesterday, Holy Saturday, there was a great silence on the earth.[i] All kept silence, because the King was asleep; God had fallen asleep in the flesh;  
        but today the hearts of the Christian people rejoice, because Christ has Risen! It is EAster. He has conquered the Devil who enslaves us, he has conquered sin which destroys us, he has conquered death – …. which worries us.   
        He has gone to search for our first parents, to open the gates of heaven to Adam and Eve  and the so-many others waiting since the beginning of the world.  An ancient writer says, Jesus goes to Adam and Eve, he approaches carrying his cross, the weapon of victory. At first they are afraid,  but Christ takes them by the hand and raises them up saying:  ‘Rise, O Adam, let us leave this place, Awaken sleeper, rise from the dead.’  
        Friends, Easter is the greatest day of the year. This good God, who has lowered himself to be one of us – who has taken on our flesh – who lived our life, who suffered as we do, and died – he has defeated now the greatest fear of mankind: death. This was the reason that, upon hearing that Jesus had actually done it – conquered death – when Peter and John heard, they ran as fast as they could to the tomb. John went into the tomb with Peter, and it says ‘he saw and believed.’  
        So many people wrongly believe that our eternal destiny is to be  some kind of floating soul,  up there, somewhere –  not true: this is a heresy, a lie. That is a temporary state. The Lord’s plan for us is the wonderful resurrection;  Christ did not rise from the dead in order to show off or something.  It wasn’t even just to prove his Divinity; it was to lead the way for us, to show us our future, to give us the pure hope of the beautiful world to come.    
        The Resurrection of Christ means our own resurrection in two ways: freed from sin, and freed from death. In each case, we become a New Creation.  Freed from sin in this life – he offers it, all we have to do  is say yes to the forgiveness that has been won for us. Freed from death – this we live by hope in this world,  and reality in the next world.   
        St. Melito tells Christ’s attitude toward us: ‘I did not create you to be a prisoner in hell. rise from the dead, I am the life of the dead, for you are in me and I in you;  together we form one person, and we cannot be separated.’  The promise of our own resurrection in the world to come is really what makes life worth living.  
        Some time back, a friend asked me where I wish to be buried when I die. I hadn’t really thought about a grave. But I could croak anytime, so… figuring I should attend to this, I emailed my siblings,  and asked if there are any extra plots available where our parents are buried.  My sister sent me a message right back: ‘There are plenty of plots there with Mom and Dad, she said,   please plan on using one of them,   it would be nice for us to rise together at the resurrection!  
        You know, I felt a great happiness to see that message of hers. Her strong faith in the resurrection and the world ahead made me very happy.  And she put a smiley face after ‘resurrection!’  ‘It would be nice for us to rise together at the resurrection.’  
        It would be nice for all of us – to rise together. May the prayers of the Blessed Virgin bring us the joy and hope of the resurrection of the dead,  and the life of the world to come. Amen.

Entrusted to the prayers of Mother Cabrini


[i] adapted from the Roman Breviary, Holy Saturday, Melito of Sardis

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