Christ is risen! He is truly risen! That’s the Easter greeting that resounds especially among the Christians of oriental traditions. It’s a joyful expression in the hope for new life that the resurrection of Christ brings. And you, how’s does Christ’s resurrection touch your life?
To believe in the resurrection is a choice of joyful hope for new life that risen Christ offers
Bible readings Acts 10: 34, 37-43 Psalm 118: 1-2, 16-17, 22-23 Colossians 3: 1-4 or 1 Corinthians 5: 6-8 John 20: 1-9
TV5Monde and About heaven
On Tuesday, 27th March 2018, I watched a programme, Fragments du Paradis (About heaven), on TV5Monde. In this documentary Stéphane Goëlis asks some aged persons in Switzerland what they think, about themselves, after their death. Among these persons are believers, agnostics, and atheists; and so you have a variety of responses.
Someone thinks of heaven in the following way: when I was working and earning money, I used to go to the shops and buy myself beautiful clothes –that’s my heaven. It’s here and nowhere else.
Another one said something like: I know my death is approaching but I don’t know what it is like the other side; and I’m afraid. But I choose not to think about it.
When I die, a lady reasoned, I shall be incinerated like my husband and my son were; do you really think something can come out of the ashes again? It’s finished!
Another aged man said something like this; when we die we become what we were before our birth –nothing. In death, for humans are reduced to nothing.
Among these aged persons interviewed there were also a couple of men and women to whom death is not an end. They believe in heaven, and they are looking forward to new life there, eager to meet their dear ones and friends who have already died.
Life after death –a human question!
Life after death, although there may be varied responses, is however a question that touches every human person, believer or non-believer (Resurrection: What happens after I die?). So it’s interesting listening with an open heart to the different attitudes that carry people along in their lives. Evidently, the response shows what each one awaits. For some death is like everything switches off suddenly –nothing more. And for others, it’s a passage to another form of life –they believe in the resurrection.
In Easter celebrations Christians speak out
No doubt, at Easter Christians celebrate Christ’s resurrection but they also affirm how they see their life vis-à-vis death. They express their hope that life does not end with death. And I see two images that come out quite significantly from the Gospel text of the Easter Sunday.
Firstly, it’s that of an open tomb that Mary Madeleine discovers, and secondly, is that of the linens that Peter finds lying there uselessly empty of the dead body.
The tomb with a large stone closing it and the linens used to wrap the dead body; the two imply a kind of confinement. Here what come to my mind are the phrases like: cul-de-sac, dead end, blank wall…. It’s one way of looking not only at death but also situations in life: conflicts in relationships, sickness, sufferings…. Do I see myself like someone caught up in a dead end, with no hope of coming out? How do you see your situation in life?
Resurrection, future with a way
In the resurrection we have the tomb open, Jesus is no longer bound by linens used to bind the dead, neither is he locked up inside the tomb by a large stone. Here you have a feeling of a butterfly –soaring in great liberty. Whatever your situation is you don’t feel imprisoned but remain in the hope of finding the way out. It’s the Easter experience.
In the resurrection is the joy of Christ’s victory over death. Indeed, at Easter Christians celebrate not only the Christ who rose more than 2000 years ago; rather, they celebrate also the joy in the hope of their own resurrection. They celebrate not only the hope of the resurrection after death, but also the new hope with which they face the situations of their daily lives.
May the resurrection give joy that enables us to be ambassadors of new hope to others.
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