Editor's Corner: The Presence of the Risen Lord
In these days of Eastertide, we have centered our thoughts and reflections on the Risen Lord. What do we really mean when we speak of the presence of the Risen Christ in our world?
We have recalled his empty tomb. We have remembered his various appearances to his disciples. We have noted that, at first, not one of them recognized him.
Jesus had suffered, Jesus had died. Somehow, he passed through our dimensions of space and time. Jesus, in all aspects of his body and soul, in all his personal relationships, is now fully alive in God.
It's the same Jesus (for he carries his Sacred Wounds in his body); yet, he is different. God's living Spirit has transformed him into a new life of glory. Raised by this vivifying Spirit, Jesus is present in the power of that Spirit. The disciples now know him through the power of their belief.
They remember what the Blessed Lord had promised when he raised their friend Lazarus from the grave:
I am the Resurrection and the Life;
Whoever believes in me, though he should die, will come to life.
And whover is alive and believes in me shall never die.
That special life of which Jesus speaks is the eternal life given him by the Father, who communicates it to us.
The Risen Lord, no longer bound by space and time, makes his presence felt in all of God's creation. He appears in the hungry and the homeless, the grieving and the hopeless, the sick and the dying. Through the power of the Spirit, he is present in all until the end of time.
The resurrection of Jesus did not end suffering in our chaotic world. But it did unleash a tremendous flood of compassionate love that goes forth and heals all -- that continues the preaching of the "Good News."
For all those called to follow in the steps of the Risen Lord, we are encouraged by these words from the Apostle Paul:
I wish to know Christ
and the power flowing from his resurrection;
likewise to know how to share in his sufferings
by being formed into the pattern of his death.
Thus do I hope I may arrive at the resurrection from the dead. (Phil 3:10,11)
Above: detail from a photograph of "Anastasis" at the Chora Church/Museum, Istanbul taken by Gunnar Bach Pedersen, February 2004
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