How does the resurrection change the way we see the world?
The classical view of life was of an endless circle. In Greek theatre actors entered the stage, played their part and exited before re-entering wearing a different mask. Fate allotted the same roles of youthful exuberance, mid-life blooming, and old-age decay to all, and wisdom came with acceptance. Seasons came and went but the eternal cycle was inexorable.
How the resurrection changes our view
Judaism challenged the classical belief. God had created the world and would judge it at the end of time. But once life was over, it was over.
That’s why the news of Jesus’s resurrection from a public and shameful death came as something beyond belief. Mary Magdalene mistook him for a gardener while his nearest male disciples scoffed and rejected the women’s account of the empty tomb. Once they saw him, however, everything changed. Despite being flogged and imprisoned, they clung unshakeably to their belief. Though they were uneducated labourers, they preached and wrote and travelled to far off countries to spread the word of Jesus’s rising from the dead.
Resurrection is the central Christian belief. It changes how we see the world. Life is no longer a closed circle but a spinning vortex that will sooner or later propel each one of us onto a higher level of existence. A belief in the afterlife affects our now, not just our future – age-old habits and patterns of despair are shattered, cast-iron beliefs are thrown aside. The world flowers anew. Christ is risen. Now he will never die again.
Father Neil Vaney
This writing is based on the content of ‘What Catholics Believe’, Booklet 2, ‘God Speaks To Us’ referencing pages 7 – 8. Should you like to read more just click either of the links below to download ‘Booklet 2’ or the complete set of ‘What Catholics Believe’.