Year of Faith Reflection Corner

“On the third day He rose again from the dead”

The first part of the video contains a fast pace and almost hectic atmosphere represented through the Crucifixion and the second part consists of a calm gentle aura depicted through the Resurrection. I’ve chosen this approach because the two are inseparable. Life without purpose can be very chaotic. Only when we place our hope in the love of Christ visible to our human nature through what He suffered for us can we begin to hope in the life to come, which is the only source of peace in this world. The Resurrection offers us hope in a way nothing else can. I’ve used Haydn’s Surprise Symphony (1st Movement) because I envision the true shock the Disciples must have felt on that first Good Friday. I’ve chosen the Old Testament image of Moses against the Red Sea with Pharaoh close behind because it conveys the desperation of our situation and the beautiful way God takes care of His children. The Scriptural text from Exodus chapter 14 reads:

As Pharaoh approached, the Israelites looked up, and there were the Egyptians, marching after them. They were terrified and cried out to the Lord. They said to Moses, “Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you brought us to the desert to die? What have you done to us by bringing us out of Egypt? Didn’t we say to you in Egypt, ‘Leave us alone; let us serve the Egyptians’? It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the desert!” Moses answered the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.”

In that moment before the waters part, their situation seems entirely lost and it was the same for us and the sake of our salvation BEFORE the Resurrection. We were slaves to our sins and had absolutely no chance of eternal life. Now we have life, through grace. St. Thomas tells us God could have redeemed our human nature in any number of ways, but He chose the Crucifixion in order to show the depths of His great love for us. By His suffering, He sanctified suffering. He didn’t take it away; instead He showed us how to handle it. That’s the beauty of God’s Divine accommodation. He came down to our lowly human level to raise it up, so that we too might rise with Him. As the Catechism reads in Article 654: “The Paschal mystery has two aspects: by his death, Christ liberates us from sin; by his Resurrection, he opens for us the way to a new life.” The Incarnation still has its place of importance in the events of Christ and we know that his life (30 years) sanctified our daily working life, but the Resurrection of Jesus as a historically transcendent event is a central mystery of our faith. We too will participate in a bodily Resurrection at the end of time. All truths, even those most inaccessible to human reason find their justification in the Resurrection of Jesus. As an aside, I would like to mention that the speaker of the first audio clip is Sr. Maria of the Cross, OP, who passed away September 20, 2012. I find it theologically significant that her words can still speak to us about the Paschal Mystery.

Sr. Mary Magdalene of the Immaculate Conception, OP