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  • Writer's pictureDr. Anthony Lilles

The Victory Disclosed in Christian Death

A war has been fought in heaven for the life and dignity of each man and woman so that in death all that is good, noble and true might not be taken from us but definitively restored forever. Indeed, the powers of death and corruption have been cast down and sent away empty. The lowly and those who hunger and thirst for justice have been raised on high. The Cross of Christ witnesses to the truth about holy humanity—sinful though we are, what defines us most in the end is not our failures and short-comings, but instead the inexhaustible love of God. In the voids, inadequacies, weaknesses, doubts and questions of our hearts, the Living God mercifully has made His home and we can find Him there even when we feel completely alone and pushed beyond all our strength. What a great mystery into which we have been baptized! In this very mystery even the meaningless of death is plunged into the saving Truth of God. Born of the Virgin, the Word of the Father has shown Himself to us in the flesh so that we might live in His Spirit. In the communion of his Mother and the Disciple whom He loves, the Risen Lord has suffered our death so that we, even when we die, might rise to new life. To the astonishment of his Apostles, He remains with us even in the cold social darkness of this present culture of death so that this old dying world might still find a reason to hope—a light that cannot be overcome, a warmth that gives courage when courage is most needed, a saving connection that no power on heaven or earth or under the earth can ever take away. St. Irenaeus declares that the life of humanity is the vision of God. The Risen Lord shines forth with Eucharistic glory in the holy places of our faith. The Word unveils His saving presence through His words in the Bible. He manifests his riches in the poorest of the poor. He makes known his glory in the death of his beloved. We can add that the victory of good over evil is discovered in this vision. We can also add that the glory of new life shines in the heart on those who turn by faith to this contemplation. We can even add that in the adoration that this vision evokes, we come to realize that the living God has taken our side and is raising us into the circumcession of that eternal life, love and truth that flows undaunted in the unity of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

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