The Power of the Resurrection

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.

Not only these Apostles, but several dozen of the first popes were also martyrs—they and thousands of others, all of them claiming that they had encountered the life-changing power of Jesus through the message of the Cross, like St. Januarius. 

…we proclaim Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those who are called, Jews and Greeks alike, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. (1 Cor 1:23-24)

I mean, today, we hear many inspiring speeches and wise insights on how to make the most of one’s life. But would you die for them? Yet, there is something in the Gospel that moves people to the very core of their being, changing and transforming them so that they literally become a “new creation.” That is because the “Word of God” is Jesus, the Word made flesh.

Indeed, the word of God is living and effective, sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating even between soul and spirit, joints and marrow, and able to discern reflections and thoughts of the heart. (Heb 4:12)

Today’s Gospel gives us insight as to why so many have willingly given their lives in following Jesus Christ—because He gave their lives back to them:

Accompanying him were the Twelve and some women who had been cured of evil spirits and infirmities, Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out.

I understood that the Church had a Heart, and this Heart was burning with love. I understood that only Love gave motion to the members of the Church: that if Love were to be extinguished, the Apostles would no longer proclaim the Gospel, the Martyrs would refuse to pour out their blood… —St. Theresa of the Child Jesus, Manuscript B, vs. 3

And after 2000 years, nothing has changed. I am thinking of the testimony of a prostitute who slept with over a thousand men. But she encountered Jesus and His power, converted, and married. She said that on their honeymoon, it was “like the first time.” I have listened to testimony after testimony of men and women alike who have been inexplicably delivered from evil spirits, alcoholism, nicotine and drug addictions, sex addictions, greed, lust for power… you name it—all at the name of Jesus.

And Christ continues to resurrect the dead. My friend, the late Stan Rutherford, had been dead for several hours from a terrible industrial accident. He was tagged and placed in the hospital morgue, when what he thought was a little nun, tapped his forehead, “waking” him up, telling him that it was time to go to work (he later learned that it was the Blessed Mother, as he was a Pentecostal then). And then there is the story of pastor Daniel Ekechukwu of Nigeria who was dead and partially embalmed for nearly two days after a car accident, who suddenly came to life at his funeral. [1]cf. Spirit Daily Want to hear more? Fr. Albert Hebert collected 400 true stories [2]cf. Saints who Raised the Dead, TAN books of saints who raised the dead. There are endless testimonies that reveal the power of the Resurrection.

And then there are the incredible stories of the late Canadian missionary Fr. Emiliano Tardif who had a powerful healing ministry. When he entered into one town, he wondered why the people weren’t coming to the church. A parishioner replied, “Because you’ve already healed them all!” [3]see Jesus Lives Today! These were miracles of cancer vanishing, the blind seeing, and limbs reshaping in front of their eyes.

Brothers and sisters, as the Storm we are entering into gets darker and more fierce, we need to remember that Jesus is not dead—He is risen! And He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. [4]cf. Heb 13:8

Expect miracles. Expect signs and wonders. Expect Him to use you.

Show your wondrous mercies, O savior of those who flee from their foes to refuge at your right hand. (Today’s Psalm)

These signs will accompany those who believe:in my name they will drive out demons, they will speak new languages. They will pick up serpents [with their hands], and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not harm them. They will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover. (Mark 16:17-18)





Thanks for your prayers and support.


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Calling Denise Mallett an incredibly gifted author is an understatement! The Tree is captivating and beautifully written. I keep on asking myself, “How can somebody write something like this?” Speechless.
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