Happy Easter to all our readers!

SHOOTING STRAIGHT - Bobit Avila - The Freeman

Today is Easter Sunday, the day when our Lord Jesus Christ rose from the dead as He had prophesied. As the Catholic Church pointed out so many times, the Lenten Season and Holy Week do not end with the death of our Lord Jesus Christ but in triumphant conquest of death as He had predicted several times in Scripture. Today’s gospel reading comes from John 20:1-9 about the Empty Tomb.

“1 Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalenewent to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance.2 So she came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved,and said, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!”

3 So Peter and the other disciple started for the tomb. 4 Both were running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. 5 He bent over and looked in at the strips of linen lying there but did not go in. 6 Then Simon Peter came along behind him and went straight into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there, 7 as well as the cloth that had been wrapped around Jesus’ head. 

The cloth was still lying in its place, separate from the linen. 8 Finally the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed. 9 (They still did not understand from Scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead.)

*  *  *

 If you read today’s gospel clearly, you will read that “The cloth was still lying in its place separate from the linen.” This cloth is what many people believe is the Shroud or Turin, a true Relic of the Resurrection that has been scientifically studied, debated and even denounced as a fake, but in the end, the pollen found on the cloth was scientifically proven to have come from pollen found only in Jerusalem, something that no one can dispute.

If you read all the scientific analysis of the Shroud of Turin, you will note that what we can learn from the shroud is that it was not a painting nor a photographic forgery. The face and body imprinted in the shroud can only be explained as something that came out as a flash. It was also believed that since it was already Passover, the only place they could find a shroud to cover the dead body of our Lord is the tablecloth used in the Last Supper. It doesn’t only have the blood stains of our Lord (from the blood type AB) found in the Lanciano Eucharistic Miracle, it also has wine drops used during a dinner. I’m a believer of the Shroud of Turin.

But the best argument found in the Bible about the reality of the Resurrection comes from St. Paul who wrote in 1 Corinthians 15:12-19 about the Resurrection of the Dead.

“12 But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. 14 And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. 15 More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. 

But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. 16 For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either.17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins.18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. 19 If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.”

It is a fact that all the apostles, except for John the Beloved died a martyr’s death. St. Peter was crucified inverted because he did not want to be crucified like Christ. For me, it is impossible for these apostles to accept their martyrdom if our Lord Jesus Christ did not resurrect from the dead. Easter Sunday is the first famous feast of the Christians before the Christmas holidays and we Catholics truly believe in the resurrection of the dead. Happy Easter to one and all!

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