Monday, April 1, 2013

The Difficulty of the Resurrection

Celebrating something as surreal and unexplainable as the Resurrection of Our Lord is something that can be easy and something rather difficult at the same time.  The Liturgy of the Church tries its level best to bring the truth and reality to us in many ways, through prayer, song and meditation.  There is a great communal sense of a promise and hope that rises from our hearts as we participate in the common prayer of the Church. 

Yet, the other side of truth is that there are many who do not see much signs of the promise of hope and resurrection, especially when their world is covered with darkness and suffering, despondency and sadness.  The infirm, those from broken homes, the morally bruised and battered, those who are forced to live in some situation of disintegration are just some of the examples of people who cannot for some reason or other truly enter into the joy of the resurrection, which is really the greatest good news that anyone can ever have.  It means that there is no last bastion that cannot be overcome, and that death is not the end.  But the world that many who are wrapped in cannot unbind the darkness that allows them to see this light of glory that wants to pierce this darkness. 

Perhaps the answer lies in the difficulty to truly love.  After all, if one looks at the gospel episodes of the resurrection, it was love that allowed those who saw the resurrection to truly see it as it is.  The disciples who ran to the tomb show us, I believe, a paradigm of what it means to see the resurrection.  Peter who represents the authority of the Church was given much deference to enter into the tomb first, but it was the ‘beloved disciples’ who saw through the eyes of love that saw and believed.  Even Mary Magdalene who at first mistook the Lord for a gardener (the image of a garden is one where one meets the beloved, isn’t it?) only truly opened her eyes when Our Lord spoke her name lovingly ‘Mary’.  Love does open one’s eyes to love.

When we are too enveloped in our own miry suffering and pains, it is easy to not look at many things with love.  Perhaps this is because we are only loving ourselves and in some warped way, looking only at our pain and nothing much else.  But on the Cross on Calvary, where there was pain immense, Jesus never did look upon his pain and suffering without casting his eye toward the Heavenly Father with great love.  It was not that he was not suffering, or as the heretics would accuse, ‘pretending’ to suffer.  His suffering was real, but his love for his Father’s will was much more real.  Fr Ronald Rolheiser had a deep insight in one of his blog writings where he put it so succinctly that what the resurrection teaches is that God doesn’t forcibly intervene to stop death and suffering.  Instead, he redeems the pain and vindicates death. 

Easter resurrection asks of us to have that belief in our difficulties.  Not all of us would have gone to the Easter celebrations with that great joy in our heart, with that lilt in our steps and with that delight that springs from the sunshine on our backs.  But when we choose to love, it gives us all a glimmer of hope that the resurrection is real, and that God truly loves us. 

I wish all my readers a truly blessed and joyous Resurrection this Easter.


  1. Blessed Easter Fr Luke and the Joy Of Resurrection fill us with Hope to share His Love with all!!!:)

  2. Blessed Easter Fr Luke! As St Augustine would say, “We are an Easter People and Alleluia is our song!” May the joy of Easter give you hope on your road towards recovery.

    I often wondered what it really meant when we say “Jesus’ death has no meaning if there is no resurrection”. Thank you once again for showing me that the true meaning to this statement is to look beyond of just “witnessing” an empty tomb. I would have missed out on true Easter joy and hope if I am not alert to the different cadences of God’s voice in the Passion, in the Resurrection and in the days following the Resurrection of our Lord.

  3. HAPPY EASTER Fr.Luke, May pur LORD fill you with the HOLY SPIRIT to give you strength and comfort during the treatments. Malvin

  4. " choose with love" That's a powerful proposition worth reiterating and contemplating. Your thoughts trigger an awesome gratitude for Jesus in choosing by default; to love me even at a price of his life. Love has no discount, only full value for a poor soul. Thank you Fr Luke, , for sharing despite your
    own struggles.

  5. "Love does open one’s eyes to love."

    Dear Fr. Luke

    Thank you for this enlightenment. In the past, I could not understand what true and unconditional love was, until our God opened that deceitful veil from my eyes that I truly understand. Because of this love He has shown me, I have hope, peace and joy.

    Wishing you a blessed Easter, Father!


  6. Hi father
    For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
    -John 3:16

    God wants us to live each day knowing that we are His beloved child, in whom He is well pleased. That is your daily nourishment from Him - to know, believe and confess that you are His beloved and that you are well pleasing to Him all the time.

    Father Almighty God is with you, good things will happen in you, around you and through you.

  7. ’After all, if one looks at the gospel episodes of the resurrection, it was love that allowed those who saw the resurrection to truly see it as it is.’

    This line in your post captures my attention..........
    We are told in Scripture, that we are made ‘in His image and likeness’, we are made in the image of Love
    Or as one guru of meditation, so beautifully put it, we are the ‘’infinite expression of love in finite form.......Christ being the first ! .........’’ If this were so - then , we are made for love...........and in love we should look at the Resurrection as the truth that it is..............that to live the kingdom of God here on earth there is no escaping the cross............. In fact, it is the cross that leads us to perfect faith. However, there is the eternal third day............... that we will eagerly await.

    Fr R Rohr said, ‘’if you receive the gift of faith, you will necessarily experience the Resurrection - and ‘this joy, no one shall take from you.’’ (John 16:22) Moreover he says that we can only ‘’ be set free by the love of another – just as Jesus is totally set free only by the love of the Other. For the highest form of self-possession is the capacity to give oneself.’’ His advice to overcome sin/evil is therefore to ‘’love it to death ! ’’ Love is the key.

    Happy Easter Fr.

    God bless you!


  8. Dearest Fr Luke,

    Blessed Easter Joy and Hope to you! Thank you for your beautiful entry this week; it will be one of my favourite reflections.

    I am spoilt for choice in my reflections, between the scene of Mary Magdalene which struck me in a fresh perspective, on Jesus himself, on Peter and the disciples… ;)

    Shall go with the words that heartened me –
    “Love, that allows those who saw the resurrection to truly see it as it is.”

    In our current context, many of us, who caught Mel Gibson’s film- “Passion of Jesus Christ” , are mostly able to appreciate and sympathise with the fact of Jesus’ suffering and dying, and mayhap to non-believers, the resurrection ending scene was the happy ending for the man who died unjustly, - came back to life to now “seek revenge?” - hmm... sorry I digressed.

    It takes faith to acknowledge the fact of God’s resurrection, to accept the call to Christianity. But to live a resurrected Christian life, to emulate Christ in loving others, to fully recognise (truly see) and embrace wisdom of His plans in constant peace and joy despite ourselves- needs love.

    As you wrote,” Jesus never did look upon this pain and suffering without casting His eyes on His Father.” – Not to look with pleading eyes to a Father to change his mind, “But to look on His Father with great love.” It is an exchange of look of love, in solidarity with His Father in their plan of love.

    It may only take one to be going through Jerusalem with Jesus, in union with Him, to fully appreciate and truly see this aspect of look casted with love on His Father in Heaven.

    Thank You Fr. Luke for sharing with us.
    God is with you, gracing you, as you continue to love Him in carrying your cross.

    United in prayers,

  9. Father Luke,

    Your blog inspires me. Keep writing :) and thank you.


  10. Blessings for Easter. May the light of Christ con't to shine brightly in your life, and especially through these difficult times. And as in your sharing, only through love that we can experience the love of God and open our eyes. May you in your own pain, pray for those who remain in shadows rather than in the loving light of Christ.