Welcome to St Joan of Arc Catholic Parish Haberfield.
‘So you see how it is written that the Christ would suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that, in his name, repentance for the forgiveness of sins would be preached to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses to this.’ (Luke 24:47-48)
The resurrection of Jesus promises that things can always be new again.
That means it’s never too late to start over. Nothing is irrevocable. No betrayal is final. No sin is unforgivable. Every form of death can be overcome. There isn’t any loss that can’t be redeemed. Every day is virgin.
In the resurrection we are assured that there are no doors that are eternally closed, every time we close a door, or one is closed on us, God opens another for us. The resurrection assures us that God never gives up on us, even if we give up on ourselves; that God writes straight with the crooked lines of our lives, that we can forever re-virginize, regain lost innocence, become post-sophisticated, and move beyond bitterness. In a scheme of things where Jesus breathes out forgiveness on those who betray him and God raises dead bodies from the dead, we can begin to believe that in the end all will be well and every manner of being will be well and everything, including our own lives, will eventually end sunny side up.
However, the challenge of living this out is not just that of believing that Jesus rose physically from the grave, but also, and perhaps even more importantly, to believe that – no matter our age, mistakes, betrayals, wounds, and deaths – we can begin each day afresh, virgin, innocent again, a child, a moral infant, stunned at the newness of it all. No matter what we’ve done, our future is forever pregnant with wonderful new possibility. Resurrection is not just a question of one day, after death, rising from the dead, but it is also about daily rising from the many mini-graves within which we so often find ourselves.
How does belief in the resurrection help us rise from these mini-graves? By keeping us open to surprise, newness, and freshness in our lives. Not an easy thing to do. We are human and we cannot avoid falling – into depression, bitterness, sin, betrayal, cynicism, and the tiredness that comes with age. Like Jesus, we too will have our crucifixions. More than one grave awaits us. Yet our faith in the resurrection invites us precisely to live beyond these. As John Shea once so aptly put it: What the resurrection teaches us is not how to live – but how to live again, and again, and again!
Ron Rolheiser, OMI