The Lord is risen indeed, Alleluia!
We confess the resurrection of Our Lord Jesus-Christ and we proclaim that it is the central mystery of our Faith. It is important to realize that He is risen in His flesh. Saint Augustine gives us the reason: “ Jesus-Christ is risen in the flesh in order to remain what He has always been to us: the Light. He does not take a new body, but His own body, in order to prove with more evidence that we will rise in our flesh.”
During the last 40 days we have mortified our flesh! For what reason? Is it because it is evil? Certainly not! We have mortified our flesh, because we are weak creatures who have lost their supremacy over their faculties, mind and body. Original sin made us slaves of the flesh and its works lead to death, as Saint Paul says. The works of the flesh can take on different appearances. For some, it is gluttony, and impurity which make them similar to the animals. For others, it is the sins of the tongue: detraction, gossip, calumnies, lies or blasphemes. We don’t blush at the mention of them as we do for the first ones, and yet they can be so much more grave, because they hurt the virtues of religion, justice or charity. Our Lord showed great severity toward those who are accustomed to these sins. Here, In America, you like to have modesty and dress codes, which is good, but sometime I think that courtesy, honesty or politness codes would not be useless. Let us keep in our minds that we obtain virtues more by the qualities of the heart than by codes, which are certainly good by useless without the spirit.
The works of the flesh can assume many faces according to each one of us, but they all lead to death if we do nothing to suppress them. They alter our nature. The corporeal wounds of the body of Our Savior are the visible representations of the spiritual wounds which disfigure our souls. We would be horrified if we could see the aspect of a soul in the state of sin. But look at Jesus, torn by the scourges: these is the works of the flesh! They lead to death!
And Jesus accepted that He would be led to death. He did it, because it was the way chosen by God to defeat death and to bring back life. As His body recovered all its beauty, and even more, our soul can recover the original beauty of its Baptism by a good confession. And if we are faithful during this life, our body, too, will be glorified in the future life. We will rise in our flesh. We will rise in our flesh if we know now how to submit it to our reason, which has to be submitted to God first. This is the work of the restoration of our nature for which Jesus came into the world. The work of the first Adam has failed. The new Adam now regains His Kingdom.
Dear Brethren, Easter is a victory! It is the victory of Our Lord Jesus Christ. It is our victory because we are with Him. It is the victory of good over evil and of justice over iniquity. It is the victory of Truth over lies and of courage over cowardice. It is the victory of life over death and of light over darkness. It is the victory of the harmony of the Divine order over the chaos of the new order of the ages.
Be sure, dear Brethren, that this victory is not only eternal and spiritual but already now temporal and historical as a consequence of the Incarnation. Our Lord assumed our very nature. By the Redemption, He restored it in all its dimensions. He did not rise only in spirit, but in His flesh. The death and the Resurrection of Our Lord really had, and still have, a cosmological and universal impact. It is indeed a new Creation. Satan was definitively defeated on the Cross and he realized that, though too late for him, on the morning of the Resurrection. In a desperate effort, he tries now to take back what Christ has recovered. But it is too late ! The fullness of time has already come.
Now the Church leads us toward the end of time for the final victory. With Her Lord and Spouse, she is already victorious over the world. This is for us a great joy, especially today, when we celebrate the Day of the Resurrection. “This is the day which the Lord hath made: let us be glad and rejoice therein.” And let us sing with Our Lady of victories, as we honor her in Wigratzbad where is our European seminary, the eternal Magnificat of love and thanksgiving.