ESTACIO: In a modern, digital age, the resurrection gives us hope

April 23, 2019

“They found the stone rolled away from the tomb; but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were puzzling over this, behold, two men in dazzling garments appeared before them.”

For 40 days and nights, Mother Church has invited us to repent through prayer, fasting and almsgiving. We walked with Jesus Christ through His life, suffering and death. I hope the season of Lent has been a fruitful one for you; and that it was a time to decrease, so that Jesus Christ can increase in your life. 

Lent can be a very challenging time if we fully gave our hearts to the Lord. We believe our suffering can bear fruit when united to the suffering of Jesus Christ on the cross. As Christians, we have confidence that the cross is not the end because Jesus Christ rises from the dead after three days. 

Read the New Testament and see the power of the empty tomb. Mary Magdalene and the other holy women journey to the tomb and are witnesses to the Risen Lord, who continues to visit with the 12 and other disciples until the Ascension.

The risen Lord shares a meal with His followers, and invites them to touch His body. He shows them the properties of His new risen body. Jesus Christ is able to appear when and how He wills. The resurrection was a transcendent event that fulfills the Old Testament and accomplishes what Jesus Christ preached and lived out during His public ministry. Through the passion and resurrection of Jesus Christ, we are liberated from sin and death to have eternal life with God.

How does this transcendent event that occurred more than 2,000 years ago have meaning in 2019? The resurrection is “the principle and source of our future resurrection” (CCC 655). 

Jesus Christ gives us meaning and purpose in our lives. If being a disciple of Jesus Christ is our mission in life, then following in His footsteps is the “how-to.” This means we will all suffer sometime in our lives, and we will eventually die. What matters is how we deal with the suffering in our lives. Did we unite our minds, souls, hearts and strength to God? The current generation of adolescents, commonly referred to as the iGeneration, are dealing with much anxiety.

They are the first generation to not know a time without the digital world. They are also the first generation to not know at time without school shootings. The society has been divided and more people are leaving the faith. This can be a turbulent and stressful time to grow up in. Because of these and other reasons, adolescents today can be in despair, which is seen in the rising numbers of anxiety, depression and self-harm.

Paragraphs 2090-2092 in the Catechism of the Catholic Church can give us some direction: “By despair, man ceases to hope for his personal salvation from God... Either man presumes upon his own capacities... or he presumes upon God’s almighty power...” Hope is a theological virtue; our ultimate hope is in the resurrection. Our life can be marked with personal trials, such as a family member suffering from an illness, or suffering in the world, like a natural disaster.

Without God, we can easily fall deep into despair. We need Him in our lives because God brings us meaning and purpose. When we run to Him, the problems do not go away, but we believe that He is there with us. This makes all the difference!

The Risen Lord did not appear to the world at large, but He spent 40 days and nights with those closest to Him, and something happened to them. Jesus Christ then ascended to Heaven, and poured the Holy Spirit into His disciples. They were witnesses to the power of Jesus Christ through the resurrection. In 2019, there is much that can cause us to despair, but we have reason not to lose hope.

We are filled with joy, and we continue to celebrate during the Easter season because Jesus Christ rose from the dead for the love of us. We must be witnesses to the joy and hope of the Gospel to all people, but especially to the young Church, who enrich and enliven the Body of Christ. They need us, and we need them.

Alleluia! Christ is risen from the dead! Dying, He conquered death; To the dead, he has given life.

Dunn Estacio is an associate director with the Archdiocesan Office of Adolescent Catechesis and Evangelization.