I remember, when I was in the Navy, it was around 1983 and we were lined up for the morning muster, it was called. As we were getting into place, someone announced that they just read that Sony invented the flat screen. A lot of the guys were astounded and excited at this news, but I looked at them and said: “OK Sony invented the flat screen, but what is the big deal?”
One of the other sailors looked at me and said: “Do you remember Dick Tracy’s watch?”
“Yes,” I said.
“They can make that now.”
Today, we celebrate not only the Resurrection of Jesus from the dead, we also celebrate Mary and the Apostles discovering the truth of Jesus’ resurrection. It was a discovery that changed the world, literally. Once that discovery happened, those who realized that Jesus did resurrect from the dead could not go back to the way things were.
This must have take some time to understand the impact of this moment. An impact so powerful that over the years and centuries it literally changed not only the world, but the landscape of the world.
The Church teaches that the resurrection is the exclamation point at the end of the sentence which is the life of Christ. Every word He said, is now proven to be completely true.
In fact, if they just accepted the reality and returned to their regular lives, it would impossible to live as if this never happened.
You see Jesus’ resurrection is a fact but once we learn this fact, we cannot look at life the same again. Nothing will ever be the same.
This is what St. Paul is talking about in the second reading. In fact, remember one thing: St. Paul wrote what we now know is the oldest eye-witness account of Jesus’ resurrection from the dead. He uses this account to testify that the resurrection was real and we could not live the same once we discovered it to be true, nor go back to life as it was after we discovered it to be true. In fact, he said that if Jesus did not resurrect, then we are wasting our time.
Look what St. Paul teaches today. It is not only that we seek to understand the resurrection, but it must change our complete way of living our life. That is because, the resurrection promises us eternal life. So now we focus our whole life on that hope powerfully.
One thing I taught confirmation students is that once we believe in eternal life it gives us a power that changes us radically. Think about it. Once you understand that there will be a time that you will enter the gates of Heaven for all eternity, then where will your values lie? in getting all there is out of this life, or in seeking all everything we can in the next?
Will you be focused on the transitory or the eternal?
This is what St. Paul is teaching. Once we understand that life is eternal, then this becomes our focus because we recognize that this is where true value of life leads.
Our focus becomes doing what is right by seeking what is above, which leads to life, and leads us closer to Christ. This becomes our greater priority because it leads to our greatest reward here and there.
That is why the sign that we truly believe is that we live in a way that changes our priorities and way of life.
Our greatest difficulties lead us to persevere in Christ, our greatest joys lead us to celebrate Christ and our greatest disappointments lead us to sacrifice for Christ. We orient everything towards what leads us to eternal life in Christ.
The world changed the day Christ resurrected from the dead and has not been the same since. That simple fact, changed all of human history forever.
You can’t live your life after you understand the concept of the resurrection the same way as if it never happened. It is a life changing reality that changes everything we understand about our self, our world and our future.
It is a powerful day we celebrate and the more we realize how powerful it is, the more our life will reflect our focus on things above and into the eternal.