Fr. James Martin, S.J.: My entire faith rests on Easter

Detail of Manuscript Illumination with Scenes of Easter in an Initial A, from an Antiphonary,ca. 1320 (Met Museum).

Subscribe to “The Examen” for free on Apple Podcasts

Advertisement

Subscribe to “The Examen” for free on Google Play

Join our Patreon Community

I’m not sure about you, but my entire faith rests on Easter. That’s a pretty big statement, I know, so let me unpack it. As I see it, Easter changes everything. Just think about the state of the disciples immediately after the Crucifixion. Think about what they were feeling. Their leader, their hero, their friend had been executed in most public, gruesome and shameful way imaginable. Most of them, except for a handful of faithful women, had abandoned Jesus after his arrest and trial. By the evening of Good Friday, they were cowering behind closed doors, worried that they too would be rounded up by the Roman soldiers, maybe the same ones who had killed Jesus.

But then, on Easter Sunday, everything changes. He is risen! The most dramatic turnabout in history. And to whom does he show himself first? Another surprise! Not to Peter, the putative leader of the apostles, but to Mary Magdalene. And remember, in the time between when Mary Magdalene encounters the Risen Christ and when she announces the news of his resurrection to the others, she is the church on earth. Because only she understands the Paschal Mystery. And what is her message to the disciples? He is risen, yes. But also: Love is stronger than hate. Hope is stronger than despair. Life is stronger than death. And nothing, nothing, is impossible with God. Happy Easter.

[Don’t miss any of the latest writings, podcasts and videos from Father Martin. Sign up for his newsletter.]

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.

Advertisement
More: Easter

The latest from america

People bury a prisoner who was killed during a prison riot in Altamaria, Para state, Brazil, on July 31. Grieving families began to arrive that day at the cemetery of Altamira to mourn some of the 58 inmates killed by a rival gang in a grisly prison riot. (AP Photo/Raimundo Pacco)
Deadly riots regularly occur in the third-largest prison system in the world, reports Eduardo Campos Lima, and Brazilian authorities are restricting the practice of religion rather than address overcrowding, gang activity and other problems.
Eduardo Campos LimaAugust 21, 2019
Love created us to be distinct from itself so that we could choose to love. It will not annihilate us, overwhelm who we are.
Terrance KleinAugust 21, 2019
Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev and U.S. President Ronald Reagan sign the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces treaty at the White House in Washington Dec. 8 1987. (CNS photo/Reuters)
Without the I.N.F. Treaty, there are no longer any limits on destabilizing intermediate-range weapons. There are also no mechanisms for verification and transparency measures or other confidence-building exchanges among military officials and nuclear arms scientists.
Maryann Cusimano LoveAugust 21, 2019
Each grandparent finds their own way to maintain connections, build relationships and meet the challenges of sharing their Catholic faith from afar.
John FeisterAugust 21, 2019