April 1, 2018

Friends,

For most Catholics, the celebration of the Resurrection is a major aspect of our faith. Our belief that “something” took place after the death and burial of Christ is what we celebrate at Easter. Do I know exactly what happened 2000 years ago after the crucifixion? No. The gospel stories tell us in different accounts that whatever took place changed the lives of Jesus’ disciples and brought them from utter pandemonium to unequalled hope. Whether Jesus was physically resuscitated is a question that theologians have been discussing since the events took place. What we do know is Christ’s followers were convinced that death was not the end of his life, and that Christ continued to live on with them and they therefore believed death was not the end of their lives. They experienced his presence after the crucifixion. 

As we celebrate Easter in 2018 as disciples of Christ and Catholic Christians, we proclaim our belief that there is life after this life. Some call it heaven or eternity. Others refer to it as the next life or being saved. 

I’m not embarrassed to admit that the older I get, the less I know. When I was younger I could explain my beliefs much more readily. I found it easier to just repeat what I was taught. We had terms that described our faith and that was all I needed then. But now I am curious about the theological terms, where they came from and what they mean. I rely on those more educated than I to help me evolve in my understanding of Christianity.

The Resurrection of Christ assures me that when I die I will be living in the presence of God. I believe that I will be at peace. I have no fear of that not taking place. Someone said, “We may not know what is beyond the grave, but we do know who.” That sums it up for me.

Am I blessed to have my Catholic faith? I am. Do I believe that resurrection is restricted to those who believe as I do? I do not.

Easter is about celebration and conviction. We are truly blessed with the gift of faith and as my faith expands I am a stronger believer than ever. Enjoy life!

Happy Easter!
Fr. Coyne

 

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