Updated: Apr 19, 2020
Resurrection is a powerful word. It can only be applied to one event in all of history: The Event that is a blazing portal through which every man can now return to the Father.
There is no context apart from Jesus Christ to use the word Resurrection. This word belongs to Jesus alone.
Although we all know of people whose lives have hung in the balance and who have experienced resuscitation, it’s not the same. We can all picture silver paddles rubbed together and applied to the chest of a man who hangs onto life by an invisible thread; and the heart, having stopped, is literally shocked into offering further service, until the inevitable happens, and the man dies again. Our own †Fr. Benedict Groeschel experienced this. He suffered a terrible car accident and had no vital signs for over 20 minutes. With no scientific or medical explanation, he too was resuscitated and went on to live another decade, for which we were immensely grateful. Even Lazarus, whom Jesus raised from the dead, eventually died again.
But what happened to Jesus was different. Jesus was three days dead, his lifeless body was wrapped in 100 pounds of spices and he was sealed in a tomb. Jesus really died. And He really came back to life – bursting forth from the tomb never to die again.
That is Resurrection: Life eternal.
The Resurrection is like a door to everlasting life, and, therefore, the death you see before you is not eternal. With every ambulance siren, like the one I am listening to now, I know that while it might indicate an imminent death, it need not be the last word of the story. I pray that every person, prepared or terribly unprepared, disciple of Jesus or hater of the Church, the hot, the cold and the lukewarm, reach out their arms to Jesus and receive the life eternal He is offering. Many, many people are not receiving the benefits of the Sacraments in their final hours, bound as the priests are by many regulations, but God is not bound. He is not prevented by anything except a hard heart.
Let us pray that all hearts will be softened by the perpetual offering of our prayers and that every heart will find its home in the Risen Heart, the Living Heart, the Sacred Heart of Jesus, our Resurrection and our Life.
Mother Clare, CFR