Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam

Essential thinking for reading Catholics.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Indeed, He hath risen!

The dawn has finally broken after the arduous journey of Lent and following long dark night of Good Friday and Glorious Saturday.

He hath risen!

He hath risen indeed!

For us, He bled, sweated, wept, shouted, agonized and died. Each of our lies became one of His drops of sweat, our wrath a drop of His blood, our manifold sins all became a nail print upon Him, a lash upon His back, a jab of thorn upon His head, a lance to His side.

He has absorbed all this, from all of the generations before Him and at-the-time unborn, and through His love, mercy and obedience to God's will, redeemed us, ransomed us, snatched us from the fate we otherwise would have gotten and surely deserved.

The catechism tells us God made me to know Him, to love Him, and to serve Him in this world, and to be happy with Him forever in the next. Without the dolorous Passion and glorious Resurrection there is no "next." The love which surpasses all understanding -- even mine -- is made active in unfathomably deep mercy in an act of supreme sacrifice which becomes triumphant. All for a fallen, broken, deeply sinful humanity which seeks and successfully finds every conceivable opportunity to squander its undeserved second (and third, and fourth and...) chance.

He hath risen.

The power of death is no more. It has no hold over those sheep who have been found by the Good Shepherd. Death, as St. Paul alludes, is stingless like a drone wasp. It goes through the motions of stinging, but those who have heard the voice of the Shepherd, and have striven to walk (awkwardly as that may be) towards His voice and seek to follow Him, know these are wasted and empty threats. We shall rise with Him.

Whenever we confess our manifest lack of worth, whenever we strive to do His will, or cleave to Him, or fall and get up after Him time and again, we proclaim His victory on the cross. And that's what we often forget: Today is Victory Day. Today is the day of triumph. We rejoice over he who conquered death, but oft forget to laud and cheer and rejoice in the Victory. We read the Gospels and as humans, we focus on the suffering of St. Mark's, the abandonement of St. Matthew's and, maybe, the forgiveness and mercy of St. Luke's. But we often overlook the triumph embedded in St. John's Passion narrative.

He hath risen and hath risen glorious, immortal and, for love of us, VICTORIOUS.

Let us rejoice and be glad.




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