Newsletter for Sunday 31 March 2024

29 Mar

The Greatest Day

Today, Easter Sunday is the greatest day in the Christian calendar – the Resurrection of JESUS Christ, the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, from the dead. It is the fifth Article of the Creed. Our Lord had on a number occasions, foretold His Resurrection, and had He not risen, it would have been proof that He was not the awaited Messiah. So the Resurrection gives the seal of authenticity to all of Our Lord’s teachings and to all of the miracles He worked during His earthly life. It confirms that He is indeed the God man foretold by the prophets and awaited by Israel. And by His Resurrection, He has broken the power of death, and suffers and dies no more.

It is a formal teaching of the Catholic Church that Our Lord, after having been put to death on the Cross, three days later rose in the same Body. When He appeared to Mary Magdalene and the Apostles, He was not a ghost (Luke 24:39). On the contrary, He proved to them that He was true flesh and blood and He even ate food in front of them (Luke 24:39-43). Although He still bore the five wounds of the crucifixion in His hands, feet and side, His Body was now glorified and qualitatively changed. He could pass through walls and could arrive at different places instantaneously (John 20:19). Our bodies will one day share in these same qualities. In addition they will no longer be capable of suffering and death. We will be freed from any deformities and be filled with beauty and radiance.

The Apostles, who were at first the greatest sceptics, once they were convinced, preached the Resurrection of JESUS everywhere as the most important truth of the Faith. St Paul rightly said, “If Christ has not been raised, our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain” (1 Corinthians 15:14). The Apostles were “witnesses of the Resurrection” (Acts 1:22), and went to their deaths for it. In next Sunday’s Gospel (John 20:19-31), we will hear how Thomas, who was not present when JESUS first appeared, refused to believe He had risen. Then eight days later, JESUS appeared to the Apostles again, this time with Thomas present, and bid him to put his hand into His side, and not be unbelieving but believing. Thomas replied, “My Lord and my God” (John 20:28). So the Resurrection of JESUS is a profound teaching of hope for us.

May I wish you all a very happy and blessed Easter from Fr David and myself. And don’t forget – Easter has an Octave, which means that every day this week is Easter Sunday and time for celebrating this great truth. “This is the day which the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it!” (Psalm 117:24).

Fr Paul Gillham, IC

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