MARKED WITH THE PRESENCE OF THE RISEN
FR. IRENEUSZ SKUBIŚ
He has risen and is with us!- it is an incredible event. Jesus died in the eyes of everybody. He died on the cross, suffering terribly, left by his disciples. So, his appearance as still alive was something incredible. And he does not only say: I am with you!, but he behaves like an alive man: he eats with disciples and drinks and shows them his wounds. And he is also full of unusual power and strength. Thanks to it, surely the surprise of the Apostles changes into the obviousness of faith quite quickly.
I remember the Holy Mass in the chapel of the Resurrection near the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem. It was great experience when knees touch stony plates which were silent witnesses of Jesus’ Resurrection. Then faith became something extremely real, something which the man had to worship.
So, Resurrection is a fact of faith for us, and also something which gives the strength to Christianity. Gospels tell us about miracles of Jesus, about healings, about resurrecting people from death, but the greatest divine miracle is the fact that Jesus rose from death. God gave him the greatest power which can exist in the human body: he gave Him life. Return to life is a triumph over death – a real defeat of every alive being, which simply stops existing. Resurrection is the action of God, because only He has a real power over life and death. He who is eternal and who IS, as he said about himself when he was revealing himself to Moses in a burning bush (see Exodus 3.14). Resurrection is a reference to this essential divine feature. I rose from death and I am with you – Jesus says.
Resurrection of Jesus frees new powers and reveal the reality of Alive and Powerful God. Certainly, it caused great commotion among disciples, agitated by what had happened. We remember them talking a stranger on a way to Emaus. It was completely a new reality of faith. Let’s note that Resurrection enlivens all pages of the Gospel. Similarly as all words written about Jesus became alive. Faith in Jesus as God’sSon is taking on an inner power. And Jesus announces: ‘Do not be afraid!’ (Mt 28.10). Later he adds: ‘I am with you for all days till the end of the world’ (Mt 28.20).
It is very important for us to be aware of the Resurrection of Jesus as something most important in our whole life. This awareness concerns relation between God and man. This awareness also became participation of the Apostles. Now everything in life became obvious and explicit. Resurrection of Lord somehow became their legitimation for further life. They already knew that they did not have any other way than – serve to the Risen. Do we imagine meeting the Risen and passing by Him indifferently? So, everything which was happening on Golgotha was a terrible view of Lord’s death, later laying his body into a grave a big defeat, emptiness, fear and weakness – this all stopped existing now, because here Lord stood over everything and is among the living. We must reject fear and we must cling to Jesus the Risen, repeating after St. Thomas: ‘My Lord and my God!’. Jesus is alive and we must be with Him, give a testimony about Him, till our devotion of our life, and in fact in such cases we gain life (‘who loses his life because of me, he will keep his life’ – Luke 9.24).
The great Apostle of Nations -St. Paul also experienced an important meeting with the Risen in his life, who revealed him himself and the Gospel. And the whole further unusual life of St. Paul had already been marked with the presence of the Risen.
We are people of Resurrection, but death touches each of us, experience of death is quite universal. The world is not only the home of life, but it is also a big graveyard. We often experience the phenomenon of death , especially when it concerns those who we love, that is, special people. But thanks to Risen Jesus we start thinking in a different way. We believe that our parting is only a moment in eternity and once we will be able to meet together in God rich in mercifulness.
Undoubtedly faith must be reasonable, that is, based on fundaments of thinking, reasoning and the man can look for an argument in order to believe in something which is not always so obvious. The human reason rouses the man to recognize the reality and make conclusions. This is what the realism of the human cognition is based on, when considering faith issues. So, the truth about the Resurrection is not only a phenomenon from the category of pure faith, but is based on the logics of the human reason, which orders to make conclusions from facts. This today’s conclusion raises us – to God.