Christ is risen! Alleluia! He is truly risen! Alleluia.

As much as we focus on the events surrounding the suffering and death of Jesus during Holy Week, as we should because these events are essential elements of our salvation, what makes our faith truly unique is what we celebrate on Easter, the resurrection of Jesus from the dead.  Lots of people believe that Jesus died on the cross.  There is strong historical evidence to support that the events of Good Friday involving the crucifixion actually happened.  However, it is the resurrection which proves that Jesus is who He said He was and who we say He is, the Son of God and Savior of the world.

As St. Paul wrote to the church at Corinth: “But if Christ is preached as raised from the dead, how can some among you say there is no resurrection of the dead? If there is no resurrection of the dead, then neither has Christ been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, then empty [too] is our preaching; empty, too, your faith. Then we are also false witnesses to God, because we testified against God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if in fact the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, neither has Christ been raised, and if Christ has not been raised,* your faith is vain; you are still in your sins” (1 Cor 15:12-17).

This might seem an obvious observation, but it has to be emphasized because it keeps us and others from identifying Jesus as just a great moral teacher or a prophet in the line of the Old Testament prophets.  It is His rising from the dead that elevates Him above any of the great moral teachers or other religious figures of history.  He is not just a teacher, not just a prophet, He is the resurrection and the life.

This is what we proclaim and celebrate on Easter and every Sunday! This is what we proclaim at every Mass we celebrate and we are so blessed as a people of faith to be able to be united to this mystery.

My prayer for all of us, especially as we hope to see the light at the end of the tunnel of this Covid year, is that we know the joy of Easter, the joy of new life every day.

Rejoice, He is risen!

In the Resurrected Christ,

Msgr. John McDermott

Vicar General

CNS/Paolo Galosi, pool