TOM, DICK AND HARRY, COME OUT OF YOUR TOMBS!

“The Lord has indeed risen, alleluia!
Glory and kingship be his for ever and ever, alleluia!”

He is alive!

That is the difference between Our Lord, Jesus Christ, and other historical figures.  Some skeptics, unbelievers, agnostics and atheists choose to regard Jesus Christ simply as a historical figure in the same way they think and talk and write about Alexander the Great,  Julius Caesar, or Napoleon or other great men who shaped human history.
But they are wrong!  All those men are dead and buried!

Jesus Christ is alive.

Jesus Christ rose from the dead and lives.

He lives not only in his glorified body figuratively seated at the right hand of his Father in union with the Holy Spirit,
he lives on in time in his Church,
he lives on in you and in me.

Saint Paul revealed this to us in the powerful passage of his Letter to the Romans where he wrote:

“Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?  We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.”
(Romans 6:3-4)

The most obvious implication of Our Lord’s resurrection from the dead is that we too are destined to share in his resurrection by rising from the dead on the last day.

But it would be a mistake to think of the resurrection of our Lord as only having significance for our bodily resurrection from the dead.

Perhaps the image we keep in our subconscious is the image of Our Lord standing in from of the tomb of his friend Lazarus and shouting out:
“Lazarus, come out!”

No,the reality is that Jesus Christ,
by virtue of the power of his passion, death and resurrection can raise us from the dead, not only from the dead on the last day, but every time we die to God by sin.

For good reason the Church as always taught us that while all sin wounds our relationship with God there are some sins and sinful patterns of living that are justifiably called “mortal sins.”  Mortal in the sense that they kill our ability to live in a state of grace, i.e., in a loving relationship with God through his Son in the Holy Spirit.

Mortal sins kill the life of the soul.
Habitual mortal sins literally entomb us in our dead state.

Saint Paul, in his letter to the Galatians, lists those mortal sins that we should visualize as tombs in which one can bury oneself.  He introduces the list of ‘tombs’ by emphasizing the role of the Holy Spirit in our lives:

“Let me put it (to you) like this:
if you are guided by the Spirit you will be in no danger of yielding to self-indulgence,  since self-indulgence is the opposite of the Spirit, the Spirit is totally against such a thing,and it is precisely because the two are so opposed that you do not always carry out your good intention.  If you are led by the Spirit, no law can touch you.”

Then Saint Paul goes on to list those sins we could call ‘spiritual tombs’:

“When self-indulgence is at work the results are obvious:

FORNICATION
GROSS INDECENCY
SEXUAL IRRESPONSIBILITY
IDOLATRY
SORCERY
FEUDS AND WRANGLING
JEALOUSY
BAD TEMPER AND QUARRELS
DISAGREEMENTS
FACTIONS
ENVY
DRUNKENNESS
ORGIES
AND SIMILAR THINGS
(Gal. 5:16-21)

Our Lord, Jesus Christ, anticipated the power of the effect of his resurrection by raising Lazarus from the dead.

Now that he, Jesus Christ, is truly risen from the dead
he yearns to call you from the dead, to call you from any of those ‘tombs’ Saint Paul enumerated in his Letter to the Galatians.

Perhaps you will go to church today to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
If so, you will be celebrating it in the most perfect way given to mankind:
celebrating the memorial of the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ that is the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

My hope and prayer is that the grace of that celebration may remain with you throughout the year and that you will let the Holy Spirit guide you in avoiding
entombment in any spiritual ‘tombs.”

Should, God forbid, you should find yourself entombed through sin,
call on Our Lord, Jesus Christ,through the Sacrament of Reconciliation
he has given to his Church, and he will call you forth from your ‘tomb.’

About abyssum

I am a retired Roman Catholic Bishop, Bishop Emeritus of Corpus Christi, Texas
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