The Greatest Event in History
Today we recall the greatest event in history: JESUS Christ the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, Who was born into this world, taught, worked countless miracles, was crucified under Pontius Pilate, died and was buried in a tomb – three days later His tomb was found to be empty, and He was seen alive by numerous independent witnesses. “Resurrexit sicut dixit” as we sing in the Regina caeli. “He is risen as He said.” And then after the Ascension and the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, His Apostles went throughout the world proclaiming this truth, that JESUS of Nazareth, God’s only Son, by His Passion, Death and Resurrection had won back for us the grace of eternal life which we had lost by sin, and that if we are baptised and belong to His Church and receive the Sacraments and persevere in His grace, we will rise again gloriously at the end of the world and have eternal life. This is our faith!
The event we are celebrating today is historical. It really happened. It’s true that none of us living today saw the risen Christ, but are we are not daft to believe it. We believe it on faith and on the testimony of those who saw Him risen and who preached it to the four corners of the earth and then died for it. Neither is the Resurrection of Christ from the dead just one among many articles of faith. It is the proof of all the other articles of faith. As St Paul said, “If Christ has not been raised, our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain” (1 Corinthians 15:14). If Christ didn’t rise from the dead, we are the biggest fools. Christianity would be no different to any other worldly philosophy and no better than a fairy tale. If Christ didn’t rise from the dead, death would have had the last word and the Sacraments would be meaningless. If Christ didn’t rise from the dead, Baptism would have no power and there would be no hope of eternal life. But our faith is not vain because He is risen and He is God.
Therefore, now that our Lenten fast is over, we have every reason to “eat, drink and be merry” as they say, because today we are celebrating what Christ has merited for us. What we lost through the sin of Adam is now restored. We pray in the Collect of today’s Mass: “O God, Who on this day, through Your only begotten Son have conquered death and unlocked for us the path to eternity …” We once again have access to immortal and eternal life. This is the purpose for which we were created. So Easter is a time of great joy! If ever you are feeling down and a little depressed, recall this truth to your mind so that it may be your strength and consolation.
May I wish you a very happy and blessed Easter on behalf of all the priests. And don’t forget – Easter has an Octave, which means that every day this week is Easter Sunday and time for extra festivities. “This is the day which the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it” (Psalm 117:24).
Fr Paul Gillham, IC