G.K. Chesterton once quipped, “The greatest thing the human body can do is to rise from the dead” (quoted by Dale Ahlquist from the TOB Congress audio).
That’s what we celebrate today—Easter Sunday. Jesus Christ was the first human to rise from the dead bodily. Quite different from Lazarus and the Little Girl from Naiman in the Gospels whom Jesus resuscitated, Jesus was resurrected from the dead.
As St. John Paul puts it: “The resurrection, according to Christ’s words, reported by the Synoptics, means not only the recovery, of bodiliness and the reestablishment of human life in its integrity, through the union of body and soul, but also a wholly new state of human life itself” (TOB 66:3).
What is that “wholly new state of human life itself”? We get a glimpse of it in the resurrection accounts whereby Jesus appears and disappears at will. He passes through walls…yet He eats with His followers.
How wondrous to live this magnificent new state of life. But must the Faithful wait end of time when Jesus returns again? What about now? Can the resurrection affect us here and now?
Indeed, it can. One might say the power of Jesus’ resurrection effects love. Before Jesus’ resurrection, the apostles were pretty much cowards. Yet, something happened to them after Jesus rose. They were bold, performed miracles, saw people with their transformed, loving hearts. It’s as if Jesus’ Sacred Heart now dwelt in, say, Peter’s heart, and his bodily action was in perfect union with his loving heart.
Think about what death is—the separation of body and soul. Sadly, we do that everyday when we sin. We know what is right, but with our bodily actions, we do the opposite. Here’s where the power of the resurrection comes to play in our everyday lives. Such power, should we call upon it—or rather on Him—can keep us together which means we love.
When you want to surf the web a bit more, but you know you shouldn’t—call on the power of the resurrection. When you want to gossip, but you know you shouldn’t—call on the power of the resurrection. When you want to withdraw rather than help others, but you know you shouldn’t—call on the power of the resurrection.
When you do, you are participating in, here and now, the greatest thing the human body can do: rise from the dead.
Happy Easter! Alleluia!
Monica Ashour, MTS; MHum
President, Speaker, Author