“I look forward to the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.” Why do we, the Church, celebrate Easter? Unfortunately, we have placed the symbol of Easter with the fluffy, white bunny that hands out eggs. The often-scary bunny isn’t why the Church celebrates Easter. After the 40 days of Lent, Easter Sunday is when Jesus rose from the dead three days after his crucifixion. We believe that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, rose from the dead to show that God has conquered death, and this should get us excited! How excited? Let me give a real life example.
It’s Game 7 in the playoffs, the bottom of the ninth inning at Fenway Park, bases loaded, the Red Sox are down by 3 to the Yankees when Big Papi, David Ortiz comes up to bat. You know what he has to do: hit a walk off grand slam to go to the World Series. After a long at bat of 12 pitches, it’s a 3-2 count with two outs. The pitcher throws the pitch and Big Papi hits it, far and deep to left center field. The ball is traveling well, back, back…. Pause. Now hold this level of excitement….
Jesus’ resurrection from the dead above all shows us that a life faithful to Jesus conquers death.
That is something to be ecstatic about!
As Catholics, we believe that the resurrection is the reason for our hope. After death, our soul will come before God. In this encounter with God, both of you will look over your human choices to see their effect in your time on Earth, but also their effects long after. So, our everyday choices do have a huge impact on God’s eternal plan for ourselves, but also other people.
As Pope Benedict XVI states in his book, Eschatology, “Christian Hope is not some news item about tomorrow or the day after tomorrow. We might put it this way: Hope is now personalized… [by a] relationship with Christ’s person and longing for him to come close.” When Jesus was resurrected from the dead, he created the opportunity for us to get to know him, and God our Father, in a unique and personal way. Through this personal relationship, we find hope as Catholics, and also the foreshadowing of the end of the creed, “the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.”
Oh and by the way, David Ortiz did hit the grand slam to go to the World Series. Just like that exciting moment, Jesus rose from the dead to conquer death and gave us a foretaste of the Second Coming and our resurrection.