Rising from the dead PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 02 April 2017 14:52

REFLECTION

BY FR. ROY CIMAGALA

THE story of Christ raising Lazarus to life again (cfr Jn 11,1-45) is a poignant reminder that all of us also need to rise from the dead, that is, the death of sin and its many dangers and threats that continually hound us all throughout our life.

Only Christ can raise us from such death. But we somehow  need to dispose ourselves to such intervention of Christ, either personally or, if not possible, with the help of our friends.

In the latter case, we have to remind ourselves that if we have the possibility we should help others get to Christ for them to receive such intervention of Christ. We have to be instruments to their rising from the death of sin by bringing them to Christ.

Yes, we have to work on our continuing conversion, ours and that of others. That’s because conversion is a necessity for us, since no matter how good we feel we are or how good we have been doing so far, we cannot deny the fact that deep in our heart there is always a fundamental choice we have to make every step of our life between good and evil, between God and us. And we often make the wrong choice.

We can never over-emphasize this need for our conversion and renewal. In spite of our best intentions and efforts, we somehow would find ourselves in some irregular, imperfect if not completely sinful situation.

If Adam and Eve, our first parents, still in their state of original justice, managed to fall into sin, how much more us who have been born already handicapped and wounded with original sin and exposed to all sorts of temptations and sin in our earthly life.

The Book of Proverbs tells us that “the just man falls seven times, and rises again.” (24,16) And our spiritual warfares are no trivialities, since “we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” (Eph 6,12)

If we go to Christ begging for his mercy which he will always give, we will be made new again like a new-born baby. St. Paul tells us as much. “If anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come.

The old has gone, the new is here.” (2 Cor 5,17)

But we may ask, what does it mean to be ‘in Christ,’ and how does Christ make us new? What has his resurrection got to do with our becoming a new creation? What does his resurrection contain that it can make us new?

These questions, I believe, can help us to have a finer understanding of the process of our renewal, which actually is a lifelong process for us and which we have to do continually.

We need to renew because we tend to grow old and to die spiritually. Bodily, of course, we cannot help but grow old and die eventually. But spiritually, we are supposed to live in eternity, ever young, new and fresh.

We have to remind ourselves that what makes us old and subject to death is sin, that is, when we detach ourselves from God from whom we come and to whom we belong. We, who have been created in God’s image and likeness and adopted children of his, are meant to live our life with God who is eternal, ever new and never growing old.

To make ourselves new again after we have fallen into sin and thus putting ourselves in the system of getting old and dying, we need to be forgiven, to receive God’s mercy.

This is how we rise from the dead.