I am the resurrection
The feast of Martha is celebrated today in the Catholic church and the gospel reading spoke about Martha welcoming Jesus to her home after the death of her brother Lazarus. There is a discussion prelude to the raising of Lazarus from the dead. Martha is one of the few characters in the gospels who make a profession of faith. She says, “I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.” Jesus says a very powerful line during that discussion, and I want to think along with that line of Jesus. He says, “I am the resurrection and the life.” What it could mean for us who are hearing it after 2000 years.
One of the literal and extremely significant understandings is that Jesus is the hope of our eternal life, or of the resurrection from the dead. A Christian life is anchored on this faith. But its good to ask whether the meaning is only significant for the life to come, and that we should live this life with that faith. It may be good to extract the direct significance to this life.
- One of the most common greetings of the resurrected Lord in his apparitions is “ Peace be with you”. A Christian who is not a peace-builder or peace-maker is not a Christian. Working for peace is not docile submission to all injustices, but to arrive at peace through justice and reconciliation.
- Resurrected Jesus was a consoler too; Mary Magdalene, the disciples to Emmaus, other apostles were consoled. Consolation leads to joy. Remember the joy of Mary Magdalene and the disciples after meeting Jesus. A Christian has to become a distributor of joy.
- The life in abundance already starts here and now (kingdom of God is already here). An invitation to live our life with joy, peace, tranquillity, compassion and love. I have a few friends (agnostics) whose life transmits these sentiments, and their lives are a great (unknown and not recognised) witness of Jesus’ resurrection and an invitation for me.
- One of the images that have attracted me a lot is that on the altar of St Peter's Church, Bandra. The risen Lord stands there with open hands, and saying “Come”. The invitation is unconditional and inclusive. Christian can attempt to live this atleast to a certain extent in our own lives.
When I wrote this, one of the first thoughts can be… the lives of many priests, religious including me or lay people (thankfully there are a lot of exceptions) don't come closer to that freedom of Jesus. When we accept that reality (humbly and sadly), hope needn’t be still lost.