Those who say that the Resurrection of Jesus is just a nice story do not know the story. For the followers of Jesus, he was their friend. The gospels speak to us, as Father Robert Barron says, “with breathtaking directness, of eating and drinking with their friend Jesus after he rose from the dead.” All these witnesses went to their deaths defending the truth of what he taught. No one gives up his life for a nice story. How many martyrs are there to Osiris, Hercules, Dionysus, or even the emperors of Rome, who proclaimed themselves gods. The answer is none. People do not die for some abstract thought, but are willing to die for their friend, “whom they had looked upon and their hands had touched,” when he came back from the dead. This remains the still-startling truth that is the meaning of Easter. Until we allow Jesus to be our friend, and become his friend, then we are simply spectators, like the crowds who chose to look upon him with marked indifference. To celebrate Easter is to believe that my friend Jesus died and rose for me, and that as his friend I will give my life for him, and rise with him to a new and everlasting life. May we, like the disciples on the road to Emmaus, recognize Jesus in the breaking of the bread, and have our hearts burn within us as he speaks to us through his word. A Blessed Easter Season to all of you.
Rev. Roger C. Gagné