Back in 1972, H.A. Williams wrote “True Resurrection.” Several passages from this text illumine our readings this Sunday.
“When we begin to recognize the power of resurrection in the ordinary gritty routine of our daily lives, then we shall see for ourselves that all that separates and injures and destroys is being overcome by what unites and heals and creates” (12-13).
In the Acts of the Apostles, St. Peter tells of the power of the resurrection that occurred when a person who was crippled was healed in the name of Jesus. Throughout the world, Christians are bringing healing, unity and creativity to so many. Resurrection is all around us. And, yes, there is also separation, injury and destruction. The battle is on. What the mystery of the resurrection claims is that good deeds will, in the end, win out.
“The background of resurrection is always impossibility. And with impossibility staring us in the face, the prelude of resurrection is invariably doubt, confusion, strife, and the cynical smile which is our defense against them. Resurrection is always defiance of the absurd” (57).
In the first letter of John we are confronted with the “impossible.” One day we shall be like God. Indeed, one day we shall see God as God is. Is this possible? For some, this claim is doubtful, confusing, even absurd. Yet, because of the resurrection, Jesus made it possible.
“But resurrection as a present miracle does not deliver us from the unevenness and turmoil and fragmentariness of being human. The miracle is to be found precisely within the ordinary and daily routine of our lives. Resurrection occurs to us as we are, and its coming is generally quiet and unobtrusive and we may hardly be aware of its creative power. It is often only later that we realize that in some way or other we have been raised to newness of life, and so have heard the void of the Eternal Word” (10).
Jesus is the Good Shepherd looking out for our well-being. More, Jesus laid down his life for us so that we come to experience the extravagance of God’s love. Wherever there is new life, greater light and deeper love, resurrection is happening.
Questions for reflection
1. What do you understand by the term resurrection?
2. When do “resurrections” happen in your life?
3. What does it mean to be an Easter person?
Bishop Morneau is the auxiliary bishop of the Green Bay Diocese and pastor of Resurrection Parish in Allouez.