Wednesday, February 28, 2007

The Tomb of Jesus - No Bones About It

How many people are deeply grounded in their faith today? I say "grounded" meaning educated in matters of faith, well versed in the Scriptures, Early Church Fathers, Ecclesial History? How many at least know to reach for the Catechism when a question arises? Not many, it would seem. I say this not in a condescending way. We're not all called to be teachers, scholars, canon lawyers. And the truth is, we don't need degrees in theology to have faith (thank God). But we are, all of us, called to be witnesses... we are called to receive the gift of faith.

We should all "be ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks you for a reason for your hope..." (1 Peter 3:15). Especially, I would add, in the wake of recent findings claiming to have found the One Whom the Bible said "is no longer here."

So, we should talk about this at the water coolers and through the Internet and at dinner tables. The key here, as St. Peter cautioned, is to do it "with gentleness and reverence." I must admit I had my "cranky pants" on yesterday, for so many it seems were either distracted, confused, defensive, perplexed, or exultant at the recent announcement of a supposed find that will "shake the core of Christianity."

In the words of the late, great Pope John Paul II, we must "chill."

"You Catholics are just scared it might be true!"

Well, no. I'm just annoyed at the lack of originality in the claims, which if really investigated, hold no water. I'm still a little sarcastic today because the media never seems to consider, with everything else it's willing to consider (Jesus was a woman, Jesus was an alien, Jesus was a magician, Jesus never existed, Jesus was married and had children, thanks Anthony Sacramone!), the fact that Jesus might NOT be in that tomb and might really be the Son of God! What if He really did it? Really rose from the dead? Not "spiritually" but completely! Body and soul! What then CNN?

So we believers get a little annoyed. Just as St. Paul had his cranky pants on when he wrote "O stupid Galatians! Who has bewitched you, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified?.... Are you so stupid? ... Did you experience so many things in vain?" (Of course he had a cranky toga I guess, not cranky pants. Hey, when we're pants invented anyway?)

Catholics and other orthodox Christians believe that Jesus really did it. He rose in His BODY to save us from our sins. Now, why is this so key? I'll tell ya later. I have to go to work, dang it!
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