The world has need of this people, today as yesterday, who will dedicate themselves with humility, courage and perseverance to the service of the Redemption and give concrete form, in good Christian conduct, to the regenerating power of Christ’s Resurrection.
(St. John Paul II)
One of the interesting things about the Resurrection of Christ is that, apparently, no one actually saw it happen, except perhaps the Roman soldiers who were guarding the tomb, and they denied that it happened. Without the testimony of eye witnesses, then, why do we believe that Jesus rose from the dead?
Throughout the centuries, Scripture scholars have pointed to the empty tomb of Christ as a sure proof of the Resurrection. It’s not disputed that the tomb of Christ was empty on Easter morn. But where, then, was his body? Why haven’t the remains of Jesus ever been found? Surely the Roman and Jewish authorities would have produced the body of Christ if they wanted to debunk the preaching of Jesus’ followers and thus discredit this upstart religious sect.
In fact, the tomb of Jesus was empty, and the authorities couldn’t produce his body because he had been raised from the dead. He was alive. “Why do you seek the Living One among the dead?” the angels asked the women on Easter morn. (Lk 24:5)
But even more than the empty tomb, the surest proof of the Resurrection of Christ was the impact that the event had on his followers. It’s so clear that something happened to change their lives. Think of the fearless, excited testimony of the holy women who went to the tomb on Easter morning. Think of the experience of the many disciples who encountered Jesus in his remarkable post-Resurrection appearances. Think of the courageous witness of the Apostles and early martyrs who preached about the Resurrection of Christ in the face of their own imprisonment, suffering and death. Think of the dramatic conversion of St. Paul who encountered Christ, fully alive, on the road to Damascus.
St. John Paul said that we need people, today as yesterday, who will give witness of the “regenerating power of Christ’s Resurrection.” In other words, following the example of the first disciples, now it’s our turn to prove that Jesus is alive by the power of our faith, by the conduct of our lives.
Something to think about: This week, do something good and positive to bear witness to Christ!