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Sunday, March 31, 2013

Why do you Seek the Living Among the Dead?...

Life has never been the same...
In his classic book, Life of Christ, Archbishop Fulton Sheen wrote, "In the history of the world, only one tomb ever had a rock rolled before it, and a soldier set to watch it to prevent the dead man within from rising; that was the tomb of Christ... What a spectacle could be more ridiculous than armed soldiers keeping their eyes on a corpse?"

"So they went and made the grave secure; they sealed the stone, and left the guard in charge."  (Matt 27:66) 

What despair and disillusionment the Apostles and disciples must have felt in those days.  For three years, many of them had followed a man who they thought was the Messiah.  The man who would liberate their people from the oppression of the Roman Empire and yet, he was arrested, brutally tortured and put to death in the most humiliating and violent manner that anyone was publicly executed at the time. 

They had witnessed miracles and healings, seen people's lives transformed, including their own, experienced joys and euphoria beyond their comprehension, and had learned more about faith, love, humility and service then they could ever have learned in a lifetime of study.  Yet, there they were hiding in darkness, physically and spiritually, with all the doors and windows shut and in fear for their lives.

And, then came the climax in Christian Salvation History.  Several women, including Mary Magdalen, who in their incredulity to the possibilities of the Resurrection, which Jesus often mentioned to His disciples, but apparently went on deaf ears, went early Sunday morning to anoint the dead body, and found to their astonishment; the tomb was empty.

Everything after that must have seemed like a blur to them.  He appeared to the women, to a couple of disciples walking to Emmaus, to the twelve and the Blessed Mother in the Upper Room, to Thomas, who doubted when the others said He had appeared, to Peter and several others at the Sea of Tiberias and many more times after that.

Jesus Christ is Risen and, because of that single moment in the annals of time two thousand years ago, twelve, mostly uneducated, men, who had gone into hiding in fear for their lives shortly after the Lord was arrested, went out boldly into the world and, despite persecution, constant harassment, threats, imprisonment and most dying horrific deaths, including crucifixions (Peter upside down), beheadings, being skinned and burned alive, and more, spread the "Good News," to all recesses of the Roman Empire and later the world.

Guard or no guard the tomb was empty and life has never been the same ever since.

Happy Easter...







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