I’m sure somewhere around the country, a beautiful sunset is about to be enjoyed. While I enjoy evenings, in my part of the country, this evening is the end of a long rainy day. It’s Easter Sunday. And Easter Sunday is a day of hope for believers. I love it, I appreciate it, I need it. It is a lesson that one never stops learning; put your hope in the Lord. Believe in the reality of it. God came to earth in the form of an ordinary man, flesh and blood, with a need for nutrition, shelter, and love. He sweat, probably had indigestion occasionally, and no doubt shared any and all maladies effecting human beings during that time in history. As a carpenter, he probably worked very hard, was practical, and had a sense of design. He must have had the occasional splinter, busted finger, and sneezed sawdust. He was real.
And he still is. He is not a fable or a legend. He really did die. He really did come back from the dead. He really did ascend into heaven, where he lives and reigns. He really did send us his Holy Spirit to guide us. He really did.
How do I know these things? I can say I have faith, but that wouldn’t be the whole truth. That wouldn’t satisfy the average skeptic, because I too have doubts. Can you believe that? Yeah, it surprises me too. So, I have had to look for proof. I found it. Don’t expect any fairy stories here. I’m a romantic, but also a realist. (Blame my life experiences for that. It hasn’t a perfect one.) My proof was rationalization. I read the stories of Jesus in the Bible. But I came to discover that the Bible isn’t the only proof of His existence and life. His very existence, and those of his disciples and family, are documented in other ways.
I also consider the extent of His follower’s passionate beliefs. And the extent of that belief reaching far and wide, to places the original disciples could never have dreamed of. Plus, they were eye witnesses. And many more eye witnesses surface in history. Consider the saints. Visions and prophecy? Sounds far-fetched but mysteries such as those are beyond my realm of understanding, but that doesn’t mean I don’t believe. A short post of mine will not provide all of the proof a skeptic needs. Everyone has to do their own exploring. I can only testify to what I believe.
So, it’s been a quiet Easter Sunday here. The hubs recently had surgery and is quietly recuperating in his big easy chair. I took a nap too and have spent the rest of the day contemplating how blessed I am to be a believer. At Mass this morning, Father Charlie Ray passionately spoke of the life, death and resurrection of our Lord. He said something unique that will always stay with me. It was in regards to the legions of us who aren’t so faithful about worshiping in church, those of us who come up with all kinds of excuses not to go. He said “God doesn’t want you to worship Him the way you want to. He wants you to worship Him the way He wants to be worshiped.”
I can’t presume to second guess what God wants. But I have a good feeling that the traditions of believers over the centuries can’t be entirely wrong.
At the end of the day, appreciation goes a long way and appreciation of what God did for us, the way He brought us from the brink of living in hell, lends itself to a type of worship that is beyond understanding. I hope He receives it in the spirit it is given. It comes from the heart.