Did Christ really rise from the dead?

For more than twenty centuries Christianity has proclaimed that Jesus Christ rose from the dead. That the Lord Jesus died to redeem us from our sins and that for this reason he defeated death. But, is this true? Today’s science has tried to investigate and to know if a man who lived in Judea more than two thousand years ago really rose from the dead.

We can see all these investigations through specialized channels in science and history. However there are no concrete results since all the ideas are just speculations. How do we know if Christ really is alive? The answer is complex because many times we behave as the apostle Thomas who needed proof to believe in the resurrection of the Lord or Peter himself who left running from the empty tomb because it was difficult for him to believe in the words of Magdalene. The gospel in these first weeks of Easter tells us about the Lord’s first appearances after his resurrection. It is difficult for a lot of people to recognize the presence of the Lord after his resurrection just as it happened to the disciples of Emmaus (Luke 24, 13-35), to the Apostle Thomas (John 20, 19-31) or the disciples (Luke 24, 35-48). Will it be that it is also difficult for us to recognize the presence of the Lord among us?

The invitation, my dear brothers and sisters, is for all of us to pray together and see among us the living face of him who gave everything for our Salvation. Let us remember that "blessed are those who believe without having seen" (Jon 20, 29). Are we part of those blessed? If our answer is negative, my invitation is that we deepen more our faith; but if on the contrary it is positive, my invitation is that we have a cheerful spirit and proclaim the resurrected Christ in our home, community, parish, work, school, or wherever we happen to be. Christ is not a dead God, but a living God who is present among us through the Eucharist. If we have not seen the resurrected Christ, look at the Eucharist and let us make certain that Christ lives in the breaking of the bread just as the disciples of Emmaus did: "While he was with them at the table, he took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them. With that their eyes were opened and they recognized him". (Luke 24, 30-31).

Let us recognize Christ present in the Eucharist and adore him because he who died on a cross for us has risen from the dead and has stayed among us in the Eucharist giving us life in abundance. Let us remember the words of St. Paul, "If Christ had not been raised from the death, our faith would be in vain" (1 Cor. 15, 14), and let us set forth full of a cheerful faith proclaiming that Christ is now more alive than ever. And if they ask you, did Christ really rise from the dead? Respond with your head held very high: Yes, Christ lives!

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Ramirez Velasquez is a seminarian for the Diocese of Rochester.

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