“If Christ has not been raised, your faith is pointless and you have not, after all, been released from your sins” 1 Cori 15:17St. Paul wishes to make it very clear to us that the faith that we profess is not just a set of human teachings, but it is something that the Apostles have seen, heard and touched - and the greatest article of faith is the Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. He tells us that if we omit this one article of faith - that is the Resurrection of Christ - everything else is of no use at all. He makes it clear that our faith is pointless without believing in the Resurrection of Christ - indeed, then we are still in our sins. Therefore, let us say to the Lord, “Lord, I believe!”
“So by our baptism into His death we were buried with Him, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the Father’s glorious power, we too should begin living a new life.” Rm 6:4Have I been truly baptised into His death? Baptism is an immersion in the water and the blood flowing from the side of Christ’s Body. This means that I should stand close to the Crucified Christ so as to allow His sactifying Blood and those healing waters to flow over me and baptise me. Burial with Christ involves being dead as far as sin is concerned. Have I died to sin? If not, I have not yet been buried with Christ. If only the above two take place, can I experience the power of His Resurrection.
“In all truth I tell you, unless a wheat grain falls into the earth and dies, it remains only a single grain; but if it dies it yields a rich harvest.” John 12:24 The wheat grain is the Word. The earth is a good and obedient heart. The wheat grain dies when it is broken in our hearts by our pondering over it. The rich harvest we reap is the incomparable treasure of spiritual wisdom and knowledge. Secondly, the wheat grain is our human nature. The earth is the ground of the Cross or suffering. Dying is giving up our own will by obedience to the Will of God. The rich harvest we reap is the salvation of our soul and a host of other souls whom God destines to save through us.
And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is without substance, and so is your faith. 1Corinthians 15:14There is no truth greater than the Resurrection of Jesus from the dead. If the Resurrection is only a myth, so is the whole story of Jesus and so is Christianity. We are still lost in our sins, and every tenet of the faith is nothing but a farce. But then who can provide a forceful explanation for the witness of the empty tomb, the linen cloths carefully folded away, the sudden transformation of the terrified disciples into courageous and joyful witnesses? There can be only one possible answer: Jesus Christ did indeed rise from the dead, as He had said He would, and has empowered his disciples to continue His salvific mission, even till this very day!
“Yes, blessed is she who believed that the promise made her by the Lord would be fulfilled.” Luke 1:45Today, a sole light lit up the entire world with it’s brightness. As He gazed on the world, the Heavenly Father saw the serene light of faith still shining brightly in a soul He loved. Full of faith in Her Divine Son’s words, Mary looked expectantly to the fulfilment of the Promise that Her Son would rise again on the third day, when everyone else relapsed into the sleep of unbelief. O Virgin most faithful, intercede for us your children!
“When they reached the place called the Skull, there they crucified Him and the two criminals, one on His right, the other on His left. Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive them; they do not know what they are doing.’ Then they cast lots to share out His clothing.” Lk 23:33-34What tremendous love Jesus must have for a world of ungrateful and wicked sinners to willingly and silently bear the pain of the crucifixion from them - the power of love which seethed out from every fibre of his heart, soul and body to seek and reach out towards every human being who lay lost in the mire of forgetfulness of God, pride, bitterness, despair and other sins! He completes His Sacrifice by offering up prayers before God for His crucifiers. Let us realise that each time we commit a mortal sin, we take the place of Christ’s executioners and are crucifying Him again within our souls.
“And after he had given thanks, he broke it, and he said, 'This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.' And in the same way, with the cup after supper...” 1 Cor 11:24-25Giving thanks to the Father, the Son takes a loaf of bread and makes It His Body. He takes a cup of wine and makes It His Blood. He then commands His Apostles to repeat these mysterious words in His memory. Thus we have in our midst today the living memorial of His Presence amongst us - the Body and Blood of the Son of God, which He gives us daily as food and drink that imparts everlasting life to those who believe.
“As Christ has undergone bodily suffering, you too arm yourselves with the same conviction, that anyone who has undergone bodily suffering has broken with sin.’’ 1 Peter 4:1The mystery of bodily suffering is revealed by St. Peter: it helps us to break with sin if it is borne in the way Christ bore it. He prepared Himself for his sufferings with prayer, and when they came at the appointed time, He accepted them from God’s hands, without complaint. Let us resolutely prepare for the tiny bit of suffering that the Heavenly Father has assigned for us with fervent prayer, and when it appears, let us accept them as Christ did.
“If death came to many through the offence of one man, how much greater an effect the Grace of God has had, coming to so many and so plentifully as a free gift through the one man Jesus Christ!” Romans 5:15There can be no comparison between sin and grace. One sin of ours can poison our soul, but the effects of God’s Grace in our lives and those of others is beyond human understanding. So let us never become disheartened by our past sins, but instead look towards Jesus Christ, the Grace of God, Who put an end to the reign of sin and death, and brought back Eternal Life to all who believe!