Tag Archives: Easter

Christ’s resurrection changes everything

Christ's appearance RWeyden.jpg

After your descent into Hades, O Christ, and your
Resurrection from the dead, the disciples grieved over your departure. They returned to their occupations and attended to their nets and their boats; but
their fishing was in vain. You appeared to them since you are the Lord of all; you
commanded them to cast their nets on the right side. Immediately your word
became deed. They caught a great number of fish, and they found an unexpected
meal prepared for them on the shore; which they immediately ate. Now, make us
worthy to enjoy this meal with them in a spiritual manner, O Lord and Lover of
us all!

The poetic text above draws our attention to the fact that for the believer, that is, the person who is aware of his or her humanity and spiritual need, Christ is the answer …

Christ’s glorified body heals us of disbelief

Incredulity of Thomas.jpgLooking at Luke 24:38ff Christ says, “Why are you troubled, and doubts arise in your heart? Look at my hands and my feet, touch and see.”

Commenting on appearance of Christ in His glorified body, Saint Augustine of Hippo in Sermon 246 tells us that Christ wanted to offer evidence of His resurrection from the dead as a reality!  “Was He perhaps already ascended to the Father when He said: ‘Touch me and see’? He let His disciples touch Him, indeed, not only touch but feel, to provide a foundation for faith in the reality of His flesh, in reality of His body [ut fides fiat verae carnis veri corporis]. The well-foundedness of the reality had to be made obvious also through human touch [ut exhibibeatur etiam tactibus humanis solidatus veritatis]. Thus He let Himself be touched by the disciples.”

Later on Augustine asks about the women who were asked by the Lord not to touch Him because He had yet made the ascension, “What is this inconsistency? The men could not tocuh Him if not here on earth, while the women would be able to touch Him once He ascended to heaven? But what does touching mean if not believing? By faith we touch Christ. And it is better not to touch Him with faith than feel with the hand and not touch Him with faith.”

Augustine points us to the proof Christ offers: faith. “The scar of the wound on His flesh served to heal the wound of disbelief.” The Lord wanted to cure those who disbelieved.

Christ is Risen!

Love is stronger the life!

Happy Easter

Christ's Resurrection.jpg

Will there be a common date for Easter? Ever?

Do you ever think of the (dis)unity of Christians? Are you concerned enough to pray for the unity of the Churches? Today after Mass I prayed a prayer that asked God the Father to give us the grace of unity among Christians while He also fixes the errors that exist among the same. A tall order I know but I am known for bold requests! For some time I’ve been praying that one day–in my lifetime– that among some Christian churches we can observe a common date of Easter if not also a common altar. Needless to say, I am saddened by the fact that most Christians don’t
have an issue with the various Christian churches and ecclesial communities celebrating
Easter on different days. I lament this apathetic approach to our observing THE most solemn day of our Lord and Savior’s triumph over sin and death.


Admittedly, the problem of
a common date for Easter is nearly as old as Christianity itself. History
shows us that when the Apostles formed the various Christian communities under the power of the Spirit and by their work of evangelization differing opinions surfaced on how and when to commemorate Jesus Christ’s death
and resurrection. Most often differing opinions were based on how the four
gospels recorded the events of our salvation. We know the first attempt at
deciding a common date for Easter began with the Council of Nicaea (325). The
Council taught that the date of Easter would be the first Sunday after the full
moon following the vernal equinox. However, there was no method for calculating
the full moon or the vernal equinox.

Today, we have the practice of the Orthodox churches who use the March 21st of the Julian calendar as the date of the equinox, while the churches of
the Western tradition  base
their calculations on the Gregorian calendar.  Hence, a window of difference is five weeks exists. Hmmm!!!???

According to a report on a recent
seminar in the Ukraine attended by Orthodox, Roman Catholic and Protestant
theologians of Europe, all participants endorsed a compromise proposed at a 1997 World Council of
Churches (WCC) consultation in Aleppo, Syria. Notice that no North American theologians’ opinions were considered. The proposal made was to keep the
Nicaea rule but calculate the equinox and full moon using the accurate
astronomical data available today, rather than those used many years ago.
Brilliant, if you ask me!  Now I
wonder of the  churchmen who head
these churches also agree.

Recently, the French Orthodox theologian Professor
Antoine Arjakovsky, director of the Institute of Ecumenical Studies, pointed
out: “Whilst the astronomic reckoning of the Nicean rule comes closer to
the Gregorian calendar than to the ancient Julian one, the Roman Catholic and
Protestant churches did take a step towards the Orthodox churches in Aleppo,
accepting that the date of Easter should be established on the base of a cosmic
calendar rather than by a fixed date as had been proposed prior to the
inter-Orthodox meeting in Chambésy in 1977.”

In 2010 and 2011 there is a
convergence of calendars which will produce a common Easter date that may, one hopes, serve as
an opportunity for all Christians to join together for a celebration that is
not based on mere coincidence. By Easter 2012 (April 8), can we hope that a
date based on exact astronomical reckoning and celebrated by all Christians?

seems that it’s not only theology or the calendar’s calculations that’s the
problem but the ecclesial relations among the communities of faith. Sad if you
ask me.

Saint Augustine on the Ascension of the Lord

We believe in
Jesus whom we have not seen. Those who have seen and touched him with their own
hands, who have heard the word from his mouth, are the ones who have borne
witness to him. It was to teach these things to the world that they were sent
by him. They did not presume to go out on their own initiative. And where did
he send them? You heard the answer to that in the gospel reading: “Go, proclaim
the Good News to every creature under heaven.” The disciples were sent to the
ends of the earth, with signs and wonders accompanying them in confirmation of
their testimony, because they spoke of what they had actually seen.

Ascension Vanni d'Andrea.jpg

We believe in
him though we have not seen him, and we await his return. Whoever waits for him
in faith will rejoice when he comes, but those without faith will be put to
shame at the appearance of what they cannot at present see. Then let us abide
in his words, so that his coming may not put us to shame. In the gospel he
himself says to those who have believed in him: “If you persevere in my word,
you will truly be my disciples.” And to their unspoken question, “What will it
profit us?”, he adds: “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you

At present we
possess our salvation in hope, not in fact; we do not yet possess what we have
been promised, but we hope to do so in the future. The one who promised it is
faithful; he will not deceive you, so long as you wait for his promised gift
without growing weary. The truth cannot possibly deceive. Make sure then that
you yourself are not a liar, professing one thing and doing another; keep faith
with him, and he will keep his word to you. If you do not keep faith, it will
be you who deceive yourself, not he who made the promise.

“If you know
that he is righteous, you can be sure that everyone who acts rightly is born of
him.” Our righteousness in this life comes through faith. None but the angels
are perfectly righteous, and they have only a shadow of righteousness in
comparison with God. Nevertheless, if there is any perfect righteousness to be
found in the souls and spirits created by God, it is in the holy angels who are
good and just, who have not fallen away from God nor been thrust out of heaven
by their pride. They abide forever in the contemplation of God’s word and find
their happiness in nothing apart from him who made them. In these is found the
perfection of righteousness, but in us righteousness has its beginning through
faith, as the Spirit leads us.

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]yahoo.com.
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