The Difference between Joy and Meaninglessness (Easter Sunday)

By Juan Correa de Vivar – Own work, Public Domain,

So do you believe this stuff?  You don’t have to: me and Father, we aren’t forcing anything on you.  Do what you want. The reason I ask is because if you don’t believe this news which has been announced to you – you have a problem.  

Firstly because right now, you are wasting your time.  Holy Mass is worship of the Risen Jesus. But if it’s not true, go enjoy the sun – while you can.

Because your problem is not just that is it?  If you don’t truly believe in Christ’s Resurrection, then the end of your life is pretty stuffed too isn’t it.  You’ll just soon end up eaten through by worms. And then black dust. That’s it for you.

Yet your problem is even bigger than that.  Not just the end of your life is stuffed. Already now your life is stuffed.  If Jesus didn’t rise from the dead, then, given it was the main point of his life, none of what he said is true either.  That would mean God’s not really there to help you. You are alone, and your life is pointless. That’s the problem with atheism: you, who you are, doesn’t actually exist.  You’re just an accident. An intersection of chemicals. That’s all you are. We can just walk all over you: that’s fine – because you’re nothing. Logically.

Or – do you believe these witnesses?  We place huge value on the strength of just one witness at the moment.  In today’s report, we have not one, but six witnesses. Mary of Magdala – who was so sure Jesus was safely blocked up in the tomb that just the very fact the tomb was open scared her running away to Peter and John.  And then Peter and John – the leader of the apostles, and the youngest of them – who were so sure that Jesus was finished that they hadn’t even bothered to come to the tomb. What was the point? Jesus was dead.

The fourth witness is, of course, the tomb itself.  That’s part of the point of a tomb: it tells people, this person was once alive, is now dead, and is greatly missed.  But the tomb was broken wide open. And the body was not even there. Even the cloths were still lying where they had been placed.

The fifth witness, of course, is the person who wrote today’s text to us.  Like a journalist, they report what happened.  We place very high reliability on the reports of journalists at the moment – even if what they write matches or supports their beliefs.  So we have just as much reason to believe this account.

The sixth witness is the Catholic Church.  Sure, we can question her reliability. But we can question the reliability of just one witness too, can’t we.  And logically – the Church is far more reliable, isn’t she:- her story has never changed; she has stuck by her story not just for 10 or 50 but 2000 years; she was there at the time; and there are so many of her witnesses in the world who testify not only what God did then but what he is doing now in their lives – obviously her testimony is infinitely more likely than the testimony of just one.

Well Father, you haven’t convinced me.  Yeah?  Well frankly that’s not my job.  Do what you want. But if you believe – blessed are you this day. For your life is infinitely valuable, and you have already begun dwelling with your loving Saviour forever.