It may seem to be a non-essential thought that the Resurrection of Christ could even be questioned. We who grew up in the Church always knew this to be the most qualitative theme of our faith. Catechumens who later joined the Church learned that without the Resurrection of Christ our labor in learning the Dogmas of the Church leaves one in a type of limbo about Church teaching.
St. Paul told his listeners; “and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is vain; you are still in your sins. Then those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If for this only we have hoped in Christ, we are the most pitiable of all.” (1 Cor. 15: 17 - 19).
In the Acts of the Apostles, St Paul, during his trial, said; “I am a Pharisee, the son of Pharisees; I am on trial for hope in the resurrection of the dead.” When he said this, a dispute broke out between the Pharisees and the Sadducees, and the group became divided. For the Sadducees say there is no resurrection or angels or spirits, while the Pharisees acknowledge all three. (Acts 23: 6b - 8).
From the BBC News on line we learn that one quarter of Christians say the Resurrection did not happen! A survey was taken and 17% of all people believe the Bible version word-for-word. Half of those surveyed did not believe in the Resurrection. Continuing with this report, a significant proportion of Christians don’t believe in life after death.
There is an unfortunate element where Catholic Universities and/or teachers, including some priests, convey this message denouncing the Resurrection of Christ and His Divinity. Where did all this originate from? What will happen to our progeny as they mature in a Church that may encourage association with new-age philosophies (of which I have written several articles) which seem to have an influence in a world that seeks power, wealth, and adherence to the “me generation”.
Has the attraction to false gods (which is a direct retreat from our Living God) become so blatant that most will praise the Golden Calf of Exodus and dance to the tune of Lust which can draw people without faith to everything that is evil.
If there is no Resurrection then there is no need to adhere to moral living standards, since there will not be an accounting of our lives before God. Why? Because without the Resurrection there is no life after death and the Sadducees were correct. Once we die there is no more!
When philosophies brain-wash the most astute people who really are enriched with the Old-time faith of our Fathers then we are in trouble. If the real reason for churches and the sharing in the Sacraments of the Roman Catholic Church begin to slip away due to the entrance of New-age then the end may not be far behind.
Jesus in relating the parable of the persistent widow ends by saying; “But when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?” (Lk. 18: 8). Taking polls of the state of many Christian believers, it is obvious that too many have lost their faith. What they are looking for may be absent from their quest to know. As Augustine said; “Thou hast made us for thyself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it finds its rest in thee.” (from the Confessions of Augustine) Not too many people who are leaving for other quests can recite this verse.
What, if any, example will we leave to the future of the Church? Do we have enough faith to spread the fact that the Resurrection of Christ is real and so will ours?
Ralph B. Hathaway, Summer 2020