As we saw a couple weeks ago, John’s resurrection narrative stresses (as does Paul in 1 Corinthians 15 and Luke in the Damascus road event in Acts 9:5) that Jesus Christ raised from the dead continues to be present and active in our own lives and experiences — alive in the Christian community itself, and in the community’s actions of preaching the Word, celebrating Eucharist, and Ministering to the needy. Jesus no longer has a fleshly mortal, historical body.
Life is changed but not taken away, as Paul stressed in First Corinthians: “But whenever this perishable body puts on incorruptibility and this mortal body puts on immortality, then the saying that is written will take place: Death is swallowed up in victory. Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting.” (1 Corinthians 15:54)
Christian spirituality is an ongoing exploration of the existential meaning of Jesus’ promise: “I will not leave you orphans. I am coming to you.Yet a little while and the world sees me no longer, but you see me, for because I live you also will live. In that day you will know that I am in the Father, and you in me, and I in you.” (John 14: 18-20
That spirituality of course delineates genuine Christian behavior. Genuine followers of Christ are not self-righteous users and abusers of other people.They do not denigrate “others” because, for example, they are women, or Jews, or people of color, or people with LGBTQ identities. They do not create scapegoats and normalize prejudices that stimulate inhumane violence.
Yes. The Easter message is our consolation. But it is also our challenge.
Thank you for traveling with me in Lent 2023 and HAPPY EASTER!
PS For a couple weeks, I will be away from my computer for some Easter R&R.