THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK
FROM ST. AUGUSTINE SPIRITUALITY CENTER
This Sunday’s readings focus on the fact that the belief in the resurrection was not unknown among the Jews. In the sixth century B.C. the priest and prophet Ezekiel delivers the astounding prophesy about the resurrection through the vision of the dry bones. You can read about it in Ezekiel 37: 1-10. In 37: 12-14 Ezekiel speaks of the Lord’s opening of the graves and raising people from the dead and the coming of the Kingdom of God. The Jews were in a most pitiful state in exile in Babylon, so Ezekiel became their consolation and support. The prediction gave them hope. Bible-history.com
Though the idea of resurrection was difficult to comprehend, it does persist through the ages and does survive in the minds of some Jews. In the story of the death of Lazarus in John 11: 1-25 Martha makes an astounding proclamation when Jesus tells her, “Your brother will rise.” She answers, “I know he will rise in the resurrection on the last day.” Jesus then rewards her with the great revelation, “I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die.”
Again we have an event in which Jesus reveals his divinity. Martha proclaims, “I have come to believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, the one who is coming into the world.” This is another exalted theological position of a woman testifying to Jesus as the Messiah. To give proof to these claims Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead.
St. Paul in Romans 8: 8-11 assures us that if the “Spirit of God dwells in us…the Spirit of Christ…our mortal bodies will be given life…just as Jesus was raised from the dead.” Wow! Now that’s something on which to wrap our imagination. Easter celebrates this great mystery, too. …an early, “Alleluia!”
Just as an aside, it is Ezekiel who promulgated the truth that each person is responsible for their own actions. It was commonly believed that children were responsible for their ancestors’ sins. This was a new development in the ethics of the time, though the belief still persisted in some quarters, even to this day. Bible-history.com
We have much for which to pray and upon which to act. Some of the time this week can be spent in looking at the persecution of Christians throughout the world, especially Syrian Christians. Christians in Africa are also facing difficult circumstances. Christian values and beliefs are under attack in the United States, as well as, the push to have a “godless” society, no matter what religion you are. Let us not be fooled by the “home of the free;” this concept does not protect us from popular/political persecution. Let us be clear about what we believe and stand with the “suffering Christ.”
We are a resurrection people for which to be thankful.
Sister Rosemarie Goins, CSSF, Director