Holy Saturday

Saturday, April 3, 2021

Mark 16:1–7

Friends, on this Holy Saturday in our Gospel we hear St. Mark’s account of the Resurrection. The Resurrection of Jesus from the dead is the be-all and end-all of the Christian faith. If Jesus didn’t rise from the dead, all bishops, priests, and Christian ministers should go home and get honest jobs, and all the Christian faithful should leave their churches immediately.

As Paul himself put it: “If Christ has not been raised, then empty is our preaching; empty, too, your faith. . . . If for this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are the most pitiable people of all.” It’s no good, of course, trying to explain the Resurrection away or rationalize it as a myth, a symbol, or an inner subjective experience. None of that does justice to the novelty and sheer strangeness of the biblical message.

It comes down finally to this: if Jesus was not raised from death, Christianity is a fraud and a joke. But if he did rise from death, then Christianity is the fullness of God’s revelation, and Jesus must be the absolute center of our lives. There is no third option.

Reflect: Why does St. Paul in his First Letter to the Corinthians say that if Christ has not been raised, your faith is “empty”?

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