THE NOW WORD ON MASS READINGS
for September 18th, 2014
Opt. Memorial of St. Januarius
Liturgical texts here
A LOT hinges on the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. As St. Paul says today:
…if Christ has not been raised, then empty too is our preaching; empty, too, your faith. (First reading)
It’s all in vain if Jesus is not alive today. It would mean that death has conquered all and “you are still in your sins.”
But it is precisely the Resurrection that makes any sense of the early Church. I mean, if Christ had not risen, why would His followers go to their brutal deaths insisting on a lie, a fabrication, a thin hope? It’s not like they were trying to build a powerful organization—they chose a life of poverty and service. If anything, you’d think these men would have readily abandoned their faith in the face of their persecutors saying, “Well look, it was quite the three years we lived with Jesus! But no, he’s gone now, and that’s that.” The only thing that makes sense of their radical turnabout after His death is that they saw Him risen from the dead.