Archdiocese of Chicago

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Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter Sunday

Christ’s resurrection brings him and promises us new life. Not just eternal life, although that’s part of it, but genuinely new life. Change is hard, as so many people tell me and as I know myself. Left to our own devices, we’d probably just settle for an improved version of our present life. But risen life, life lived in radical freedom and perfect unity with God, comes when death is suffered and conquered, which is the kind of radical change our imaginations can’t handle. Even science fiction is mostly ringing changes on what we know or re-arranging things we can imagine. No wonder Jesus’ closest friends and disciples were surprised.

St. Ignatius of Loyola, in his Spiritual Exercises, draws on an old belief that Jesus first appeared to his mother, Mary, when he rose from the dead. In inviting us to imagine the scene, St. Ignatius leads us to believe she wasn’t surprised. Every mother knows her son, and Mary probably thought: “Isn’t this just what Jesus would do?” As we get to know Jesus more intimately, we come to see that rising from the dead to give us new life is just the thing he would do. It’s called seeing with the eyes of faith.

Francis Cardinal George, OMI

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