Monday, April 5, 2010

Domine Quo Vadis?

Domine Quo Vadis? -According to the legend, Peter met Christ when he fled from Rome to escape martyrdom. He asked: "Domine, quo vadis?", "Lord, where are you going?", and Christ answered: "To Rome, to be crucified again." This helped Peter overcome his fear of martyrdom, and he returned to face his persecutors.

Lent moves slowly for weeks then leads up to a week of phenomenal events culminating in the Passion, Death and Resurrection. If you had never even heard of Jesus Christ and were told of the events that took place you would most certainly conclude that this an incredible story of one man. I know for myself Easter Monday can be sort of a let down. Last year I recall that I was spiritually dry and feeling somewhat empty. I pour myself into Holy Week and it drains me. I think God has really blessed me this year because I have been feeling pretty lousy since Good Friday, with a sinus and chest infection. I joined my sufferings with the drama His Passion.

There are two things that have crossed my mind this morning: first that we must acknowledge and believe that fact that Jesus rose from the dead in a physical state in his human body. There have been heretics throughout the ages who have proposed to the contrary. In modern times it is widespread and common to believe that there are no such things as the spiritual and metaphysical realms - all things must meet the test of materialism and empiricism. It must been seen and tested or it is not true or just a fairy tale. In John's Gospel when Mary Magdalen discovers that the man she was speaking to was not the gardener but rather the Risen Christ, Jesus tells her "stop holding on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father." Right from the first minutes of His resurrection Jesus is in this curious state of a physical body, where he has to be freed from Mary's grasp in order go. Later in John we read of Thomas' need to touch the side and and nail marks of Christ. Jesus acquiesces and Thomas says his famous words "My Lord and My God" And still later when Jesus is found onshore with the charcoal fire and he eats breakfast of fish and bread. I believe that one of the most convincing pieces of evidence for the skeptics is this. Not only did the disciples of Jesus suffer persecution and death for this belief of the Resurrection, not a single solitary one recanted the story, but also the Resurrection was instrumental in converting Jews and pagans throughout the first two centuries and many were converted even with the threat of death. The disciples of Christ emphatically testified to the truth of Jesus' resurrection, so much that people were willing to suffer and die just for believing. That is powerful evidence that cannot be ignored.

The second point that I want to finish up here is that it is good to rest a bit, if you had a good Lent and made progress in your journey, then give thanksgiving to God. Jesus would do it all over again if He felt it necessary.

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