St. Michael's Parish - Cobourg

Thoughts on the Resurrection                                      -Homily April 19, 2015

 

Most of you have more experience than me and you may know better how fishermen or farmers are. One thing is true: they have a deep common sense, a realism very difficult to overcome. They have much experience of people and of nature and you will not convince them of a tale.

 

The apostles were like that, and most people who heard the apostles were like that too. The apostles left their families and their jobs to preach that the dead Jesus of Nazareth was alive now, and that everybody had to repent. Were they crazy? Maybe, but they defied death in preaching the resurrection. Were they very, very crazy? Maybe, but many people who heard them, simple and realistic people as they were, many people, I say, believed them; and they also risked their families, their jobs and their lives for the resurrection. Were they all crazy? Maybe, but three hundred years after, after hundreds of thousands of people had been killed because they were Christians, the whole Roman Empire became officially Christian. Was the world crazy? Uff… I am getting tired of this. Would it not be easier to recognize that the resurrection was true, and so well attested that there was no consistent argument against it?

 

The apostles were convinced because they had seen Jesus, and because at least 500 hundred other people had also seen Jesus after his resurrection (cf. 1Co 15:6). People knew that they were men without a special education, and fishermen (cf. Acts 4:13). Moreover, the apostles had healed many people and done evident miracles in front of many people, like the healing of a man who had begged at the door of the temple for so many years (Acts 3:1-16). People who heard the apostles were amazed and afraid at what they saw and heard. They were not crazy. They recognized that God was with the apostles. And that is why the world became Christian.

 

Otherwise, we would have to say that the people of the first centuries were all stupid. I wonder why should they be consider sillier than we are? Is not the Roman jurisprudence the basis of our civil law? They were not stupid, they were very reasonable. Twelve fishermen (I know, eleven fishermen and one tax collector) convinced them to become Christians. It is evident that something had happened. When a man rises from the dead, the world cannot be the same. Just a thought. Happy Easter!   -Fr. Andrew