Monday, November 8, 2010

Bold Hope: A Reflection on Luke 20.27-38

It is bold to live by faith. As people of the resurrection, we leap toward unimaginable mysteries. But we are not fools for doing so. Faith a God who died and rose again empowers the living and is without doubt our hope for a better future.

For the early Church, hope in ones own bodily resurrection provided the strength needed to tolerate the oppression Christians experienced under Roman Imperial Rule.

Hope for bodily resurrection, of course, did not begin with these believers. From about 800 years before Christ, the Hebrew people suffered in exile; perpetually uprooted by war and persecution, they longed for a promised-land rich with their own institutions and culture. But to Jews of the ancient world, the land of milk and honey never arrived. For those who found faith in Jesus Christ, however, a new promise of resurrected life brought something better. The Good News of our Lord’s paschal mystery (Jesus’ incarnation, death and resurrection) was a much needed liberation from the chains of worldly flounder. Sensing their release from captivity, the first Christians understood Christ’s bodily resurrection as death to death itself and the birth of life eternal.

God’s definitive act of salvation for all, Jesus’ rising from the tomb is the complete revelation of God’s faithfulness and love. Because of what God has done, we have no need to fear; we have only to hope.

Revealed as Lord of heaven and earth, Christ is the sort of God whom only a God who dies and is raised can be. Obediently taking on the fullness of fleshly existence, with all its pain and sorrow, only to be raised by his faithful Father, Jesus demonstrates how God is with us through it all, from beginning to end, and still yearning to dine with us at a heavenly table.

In each and every Eucharist Christians remember God’s commitment. Coming together to share in his body and blood, we, as St. Paul says, die and rise with God’s own-self.

When gathered with such intent, we may moreover receive comfort.

In worlds riddled with struggle and confusion, the Eucharistic meal can provide some healthy reassurance. But we should never rest too long between Church walls. In dark corners known only to individuals, hearts long for hope and, fears are overcome through faith alone.

Confident that the God of the living is indeed our Lord and Saviour, may we boldly rise to embrace the unimaginable. May our Lord’s dying and rising bring us (and our world) alive to everlasting joy.

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