Monday, March 28, 2016

Easter Monday

Easter Bombing in Pakistan
Reputed members of the Islamic State murdered four nuns of the Missionaries of Charity working in an elder care facility in Aden, Yemen on March 4, 2016. The only crime of these nuns, like some many thousands of others brutally persecuted in recent years, was that they were Christians. What is so bad about Christianity? 

Personally, I like practically everything about it, especially the belief in, and hope in the resurrection from the dead.

It is clear from Scripture that, even after the Resurrection of Jesus on Easter Sunday, his subsequent Ascension forty days later, and the incredible events of Pentecost, St. Peter did not fully understand the implications of the Resurrection. Only after a personal vision convinced him that Jesus died and rose for all, did Peter see the light. He said,
“Now I really understand that God is not a respecter of persons, but in every nation he who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him. He sent his word to the children of Israel, preaching peace through Jesus Christ (who is Lord of all). You know what took place throughout Judea: for he began in Galilee after the baptism preached by John: how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, and he went about doing good and healing all who were in the power of the devil; for God was with him. And we are witnesses of all that he did in the country of the Jews and Jerusalem; and yet they killed him, hanging him on a tree. But God raised him on the third day and caused him to be plainly seen, not by all the people, but by witnesses designated beforehand by God, that is, by us, who ate and drank with him after he had risen from the dead. And he charged us to preach to the people and to testify that he it is who has been appointed by God to be judge of the living and the dead. To him all the prophets bear witness, that through his name all who believe in him may receive forgiveness of sins.” *
I have come to believe with Peter that “God is not a respecter of persons, but in every nation he who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him.” Nevertheless, I like being a Christian, especially a Catholic.  As I said, I like a religion that believes in and holds out hope for resurrection, for a life after death.

I like to think that the four nuns murdered in Yemen by Moslem fanatics earlier this month are living a new life, and that they are not just rotting bodies being picked apart by vultures. It also strikes me that those four nuns, like tens of thousands of other Christians who have also been brutally persecuted in our own time, had already given up their lives in the service of others when they took their initial vows. Like Jesus, they went about doing good and healing.

Even today, the day after Easter, there is the terrible news that Taliban suicide bombers murdered at least 65 people and wounded over 300 in Pakistan just because they were Christians celebrating Easter.


*Acts of the Apostles 10: 25-37.

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