Understand the Power of the Resurrection

After the death of Jesus the apostles returned to the Upper Room and kept the doors locked.  It was a room filled with bittersweet memories.  It was in that room that Jesus had washed their feet, celebrated the Last Supper with them, and the place where the apostles pledged loyalty to him, even if it meant death for them.

The apostles were wounded, both individually and collectively, by fear, doubt, guilt, grief, and despair.  Two members of their group were missing; Judas was dead and Thomas had disappeared, going through a crisis of faith.  Like all people in pain, they had put a barrier around themselves.

Jesus did not wait for them to come to him.  Rather, he came to them in the midst of all their fear.  Standing before them, he did not blame them for their actions or even scold them for failing him.  He knew what they were going through and had no intentions of rubbing the proverbial salt into the wounds.  Instead he said to them, “Peace be with you,” and with his gift of peace they received Jesus’ forgiveness.

In that moment the meaning of his sufferings and death, and the power flowing from his resurrection struck them: death, evil, their sins, and betrayal had all been overcome.  Goodness, love, and life had triumphed!  The ancient foe had been defeated.  They were filled with joy and nothing could take their joy from them.

Easter does not take away our pain or remove our fears.  It does give meaning to our suffering and fills us with hope.  All is different because Jesus is alive and speaks his words of peace to us.  When we fail we can draw encouragement from Jesus’ chosen Twelve, all of whom failed him at his greatest hour of need.

Remember that the wounds that pierced the body of Jesus at the Crucifixion did not disappear with his Resurrection.  They are still present and will always be present as a reminder of his love for us.  The wounds that caused Jesus unbearable suffering are now glorious wounds from which flow powerful healing.

Let us take some time this week to reflect on the now glorious wounds that adorn the body of the Risen Christ.  And let us ask him to bring healing into those areas of our life where healing is needed.  As we continue on in our celebration of Easter, may we come to understand more fully the power of the Resurrection in our personal life and in our world.

   Easter Blessings!

— Fr. Dennis, April 15, 2018