Resurrection of Jesus: Knowledge and Faith

El Greco Christ in PrayerTwo quick points on today’s readings at Holy Mass

1.  How do we know that Jesus rose from the dead? We do not take it on blind faith. The key question is: How do we explain what the Apostles did in the ensuing months and years? First, two certain facts.

i. Christ certainly died.

Nonetheless, shortly thereafter, the Apostles themselves stared down death with supernatural courage; they testified in Jerusalem, and all over the world; they acted with utter conviction that the Lord Jesus had risen, had ascended into heaven, and had poured out the Holy Spirit upon His nascent Church. So, fact ii.:The Apostles certainly did all these heroic apostolic feats.

How do we explain it? Mass self-destructive, semi-suicidal psychosis among Galileans on pilgrimage to Jerusalem in the spring of 33AD? No. The simplest, most straightforward, and creditable explanation is: Jesus rose from the dead.

But that brings us to point 2. We do have a kind of “blind” faith in: the mystery of the Trinity. Jesus declared that He is the One from heaven, to Whom the Father has handed over everything. Our eternal life depends not just on our reasoned conclusion that Jesus rose from the dead. Our eternal life rests on our faith that He Who rose from the dead is the God-man, the eternal Son, the One Who has united His divine life with our mortal human nature by His Incarnation.

We cannot conceive of the triunity of Almighty God. But we can believe in it with a practical faith; we can obey Jesus, the Son Whom the Father consecrated and sent. When we submit ourselves completely to Christ, regarding Him as the Absolute Truth of life, in every respect, then the Trinity becomes not just something we cannot fully understand. It becomes the reality in which we actually live.

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