Wednesday, March 31, 2010

A gift of life

It might be proper to put down something on Easter.

As if it were an easy thing to do!

First of all we should recollect what we are celebrating; or better, where our celebration stems from.

Why, you could say, it is clear: the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Yes, but wherefrom do we know about it? The answer is less obvious than it should be: the Church – i.e., the first witnesses, whose testimony was on one side written down in the New Testament, while on the other was kept alive in the community of their successors.

Let's recover the marvel of it: in the old times of Tiberius, second Roman emperor, a little bunch of Jews started going around preaching, by telling a strange story.

Everybody can read it in St. Peter's words at the beginning of the Acts of the Apostles. On my side I like to put it in this way:

Our teacher, who had done and said great things, and from whom we expected still greater ones, was taken prisoner and put to death. We were dumbfounded, utterly discouraged, thinking that was the end of all our hopes. And yet… three days later we saw him alive again, he stayed with us and ate with us.

Quite marvelous, isn't it? To see a man who had been dead, alive again.

Mind me well: they didn't say "we saw his ghost", but "we saw him in the flesh".

Today we might be prone to attribute it to their credulity. But no, for them it was as incredible as for us, men of a disenchanted world. Otherwise, if he had been just a ghost, there wouldn't have been much to marvel about, nothing to preach about.

Besides the marvel, what did that mean for them? That a priestly king had offered himself in sacrifice, once and for all.

Do you know what is a sacrifice, and how it pertains to a king? If you don't, try to think of the gift of life that men make for those whom they love; and, in Jesus' case, multiply by infinite.


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