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Father Muench Says...

Celebrating, sharing in the resurrection

Oct. 3, 2018

By Father William Muench
NCC columnist

As Christians, we believe that Jesus’ crucifixion led to resurrection. Jesus died on the cross. Three days later, he rose from the dead to new life. In faith, we believe that Good Friday leads to Easter. Our liturgical year climaxes during Holy Week each year, as we celebrate the very heart of our Catholic faith – Good Friday and Easter, the death and resurrection of our Savior.

Today, let us remember together all that the resurrection means. Usually, we concentrate on Easter during the spring time. However, I know this would be a good time for us to talk about death and resurrection. The Gospels tell us that after his Resurrection, Jesus appeared to his apostles often.

Jesus used this opportunity to challenge his apostles to bring his message and his story to the world. He called upon them to change the world in his name. He told them to prepare for the coming of the Holy Spirit – the Spirit would change them and lead them. Jesus chose to leave them and all of us as he ascended to Heaven.

Jesus continues to send the Holy Spirit to each one of us. Through this Holy Spirit, he gives us the life, the love and enthusiasm to live well and to demonstrate to others God’s great love for us all. The Spirit teaches us the very heart of our spirituality as Catholics – death to resurrection through and with Jesus.

Each of us have our crosses, our sufferings and our failing and our sins – these are all our deaths. With Jesus, we can change and be converted so that we can pass through death and come alive in resurrection.

We need Jesus. Jesus has taught us the love and forgiveness of our God. Jesus demonstrated God’s great love by the way he lived among us, by his crucifixion, and by his resurrection. Jesus knows how we need resurrection and new life. Through that new life, Jesus leads us to conversion, so we must open ourselves to the Lord to lead us through our deaths to our resurrection.

I believe this is all about our Catholic sacraments. Each Sunday, we, Catholics, gather with our parish for Mass to celebrate the Holy Eucharist. We gather as a family. The Holy Eucharist is our celebration of the death and resurrection of Jesus.

As we celebrate this Eucharist, we unite ourselves with Our Lord. Through Jesus we find new life as we receive Holy Communion, uniting us in a special way with the Lord’s resurrection. Jesus shows us the way to our resurrection and makes us aware of who we are and all that we can accomplish.

There is also the miraculous sacrament of Penance. There is something of a miracle every time we celebrate Penance. God forgives our sins.

Can you imagine how profound this is! Our sins are forgiven. God forgives us. God forgives us because God loves us. Jesus demonstrated God’s great love for us by coming down to teach us, to die for us and to rise to new life. Jesus taught us how forgiving God is. Our sins are truly deaths. Because of our sins our life is dead. God’s forgiveness brings us new life. This is truly a resurrection moment – a source of new life.

One more thing: I believe our Catholic Church has been going through a death experience in our days. With the Lord’s help and wise decisions that must be made, our Church will recover, and we will find a resurrection. I have total faith in God that good things will come. We are the Church – each one of us is Church – as our Church finds new life, each one of us are challenged to bring that new life into all that we are and all we do.

So, let us pray: Lord, help us to live the new life of Easter, now, so that all people may know through us the power of your love. Lord Jesus, we want to be your brothers and sisters.

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