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Photo: Andrea Mantegna (Isola di Carturo, circa 1431-Mantua, 1506)
He Rose Again ... and Everything Changed
The First Glorious Mystery: The Resurrection
By Fr. Joseph Roesch, MIC (Jan 2, 2015)
Sixteenth of a 20-part series on the Mysteries of the Rosary. Next week: The Ascension.
"Unless I see the mark of the nails in His hands and put my finger into the nailmarks and put my hand into His side, I will not believe." — John 20:25
One of the greatest challenges that Jesus faced after the Resurrection was to actually convince His followers that He had indeed risen from the dead! In various Gospel accounts, the Apostles refuse to believe eyewitnesses of Jesus' Resurrection appearances. In the quoted passage, which is read on Divine Mercy Sunday, St. Thomas refuses to believe his fellow Apostles. When our Lord appears to Thomas on the Sunday after that first Easter, He is willing to submit to whatever tests Thomas needs to make to help him believe in the reality of the Resurrection.
Today, we each face St. Thomas's challenge: Do I believe in the Resurrection? Many people have never fully contemplated the Resurrection's real meaning and consequences. What difference does it make that Jesus rose from the dead? Do we truly believe He is alive and in our midst today?
Saint Paul teaches us that the Resurrection of the Lord makes all the difference in the world. "If Christ has not been raised, your faith is vain; you are still in your sins. Then those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If for this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are the most pitiable people of all" (1 Cor 15:17-19).
Through our Lord's death and Resurrection, death is conquered forever. We are freed from our sins and alienation from God. Eternal life is once again available to us all.
The risen Lord wishes to share His life with us in a variety of different ways, especially in Holy Communion. But in the Diary of St. Faustina, our Lord complains that people receive Him in Holy Communion without any mindfulness: " ... souls do not even pay attention to Me; they leave Me to Myself and busy themselves with other things. ... They treat Me as a dead object" (1385). Do we truly believe that Jesus is alive, or do we consider Him as one of the dead? At the end of the Gospel passage read on Divine Mercy Sunday, our Lord says to Thomas, "Have you come to believe because you have seen Me? Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed" (Jn 20:29).
Meditating regularly on this mystery in the Holy Rosary gives us a wonderful opportunity to open our hearts to the grace of the Resurrection of our Lord. As we meditate on this mystery, let us ask our Lord Jesus for the grace of a deeper faith in the fact that He has come back from the dead, that He is indeed the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through this belief, we may have life in His name (see Jn 20:3).
1. The Annunciation
2. The Visitation
3. The Nativity of Our Lord Jesus
4. The Presentation in the Temple
5. The Finding in the Temple
1. The Baptism of Jesus
2. The Wedding at Cana
3. The Proclamation of the Gospel
4. The Transfiguration
5. The Institution of the Eucharist
1. The Agony in the Garden
2. The Scourging at the Pillar
3. The Crowning with Thorns
4. The Carrying of the Cross
5. The Crucifixion and Death of Our Lord Jesus
1. The Resurrection
2. The Ascension
3. The Descent of the Holy Spirit
4. The Assumption
5. The Coronation