Mystery of the Resurrection

Christ is Risen! Indeed, he is risen! This ancient greeting is still used today among Eastern Catholics and Orthodox Christians. During the season of Easter and indeed every Sunday and every time we celebrate the Eucharist, we recall the resurrection of Jesus Christ, which is the center-piece of our Christian faith. But what does the resurrection mean to us?

In the first place it is a mystery that we cannot understand. In the Gospel passage of this Sunday, the disciples are in a closed room when the Risen Lord simply shows up in their midst. They are startled and terrified. You and I would have reacted in the same way. How is it possible that the same Jesus who was crucified, died and now is right there in their presence. “Peace be with you.” He said to them. He then challenged their misbelief, but also helped them to gradually understand that they were not seeing a ghost as they imagined. What Jesus says to the disciples is very down to earth. “Touch me and see me and see, because a ghost does not have flesh and bones.” “Have you anything here to eat?” He wants the disciples to make use of all their bodily senses of touch and seeing. He asks them to see the wounds on his hands, his feet and on his side, in order to realize that he is indeed the same one who died on the Cross, but now alive. Perhaps what convinces the disciples even more is the fact that he asks for some food and eats right in their presence and then proceed to open their minds to the scriptures for them to understand that all what has happened to him had already been foretold in the scriptures.

We accept and celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ not only on the grounds of eye witnesses, his disciples, but also by our own faith, which is a gift from God. During the rest of the Easter season, we live as people of the resurrection, knowing that Christ’s victory over death and the power of evil is also our victory.

Monsignor John S. Mbinda