St. Paul wrote, “If there is no Resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised.  And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith (1 Cor 15: 13-14).”

Those are some pretty big “ifs,” especially as we grapple with the damage from a lengthy pandemic and the reality of a war with worldwide ramifications.

Think about those “ifs” for a moment. Between the Risen Lord Jesus Christ and us as believing Christians, between what we preach about and what we believe, is the celebration of our Easter faith.  “In fact, everything that exists in the Church – the Sacraments, doctrine, institutions – draws its strength from Christ’s Resurrection. (Rev. Raniero Cantalamessa, “Life In Christ,” 67).”

The Lord Jesus Christ assured us, “I am the Resurrection and the Life.  Whoever believes in me, though he/she may die, shall live. And whoever lives and believes in me shall never die (John 11: 25-26).”  Is there any greater invitation? Any greater promise? Any greater hope in this world of ours? It is no wonder, then, that our entire faith as Catholics, as Christians, depends on the truth of Easter.

Faith in the Resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ expresses the conviction so profoundly that there is much more to life than what we see and feel in this world; that as good as this life may be, despite its challenges and difficult moments – despite its crosses – there is a better life to come because of the Resurrection of Christ.

The late, great and Venerable Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen once reflected, “The Cross had asked the questions; the Resurrection had answered them. The Cross had asked ‘why does God permit evil and sin to nail Justice to a tree?’  The Resurrection answered ‘that sin, having done its worst, might exhaust itself and thus be overcome by Love that is stronger than either sin or death’ (Fulton J. Sheen, “Lent and Easter Wisdom,” 110).”

Easter enables us to embrace our faith, to believe “it is always possible to begin anew, because there is a new life that God can awaken in us in spite of all our failures. From the rubble of our hearts, God can create a work of art; from the ruined remnants of our humanity, God can prepare a new history. He never ceases to go ahead of us: in the cross of suffering, desolation and death, and in the glory of a life that rises again, a history that changes, a hope that is reborn. In these dark months ... let us listen to the Risen Lord as he invites us to begin anew and never lose hope” (Pope Francis, “Easter Vigil Homily,” April 3, 2021).

Happy Easter!