From a Creighton Student's Perspective
April 24, 2011
Senior, English, with a Specialization in Creative Writing,
and Theater Double Major
Jesus’ resurrection is a personal event. My “life is hidden with Christ in God” (Cor 3). Christ is my life! That’s it. He is my life. “When Christ your life appears, then you too will appear with him in glory” (Cor 3). That is a stunning statement. It does not mean that I am forced out of my own life. No, the truth is that God’s gift of life is only a gift when I return it to him. If I hoard that gift and refuse to acknowledge him as Creator (which I am allowed to do because of the gift of free will), it is no longer a gift but rather a burden and the slavery of sin. During Lent we have been called to ‘die to ourselves’ so that at Easter we live with Christ. “I shall not die, but live” (Psalm 118).
Can God make it any clearer? We are so “slow of heart to believe all that the prophets spoke!” (Luke 24). Not only does God enjoy watching us hide (or find) Easter eggs and bite off the ears of that chocolate bunny, but he is present in that celebration, and most especially he takes the time to walk with us and “interpret to [us] what refers to him in all the Scriptures” (Luke 24). On the road to Emmaus, Jesus points out that this celebration has been a long time coming. 'Wake up!' he says. 'Wake up to the love of God!'
The pinnacle of this celebration, of course, comes at the Easter Mass; “he took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them. With that their eyes were opened and they recognized him” (Luke 24). That recognition to the disciples is a revealing of their own lives, a filling of their hearts with the love and life of Christ, because that is where our true freedom rests – once we have chosen Christ.
God does not force himself on us; he wants us to choose to love him, and, once we do, we are free in that love. But we must choose. One of the options for the Gospel reading, the nine verses from John, describes simply the events of the glorious Easter morning. It might appear purely factual, but throughout the passage is the undertone of gentle understanding and revelation. The other disciple runs to the tomb, but then he “bent down” – he hurries but then he takes his time (John 20). In reading the passage, there is a sense that the disciple is responding to the work of the Holy Spirit in the situation. When he finally enters, “he saw and believed” (John 20). It is that simple. Jesus has shown us again and again the miracles that he can do, but the miracle of his resurrection from the dead is his greatest yet. And we participate in that miracle at every Mass; we highlight that miracle especially today on Easter Sunday.
That is how the Holy Spirit wants to work in our lives – gently telling us every day that he has risen. And as Christ is risen from the dead today, so are we are called to rise with him, to let our lives be in preparation for the final resurrection. We are called to choose life, not death, because God calls us to life in him. When he appears with the fullness of life at the final resurrection, we “will appear with him in glory” (Cor 3). And what better Easter gift can there be than to know, with great confidence and hope, that we will be forever alive in Christ? So “let us rejoice and be glad” (Psalm 118).
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