For your sake he became poor (2 Cor 8, 9)
Death no longer has power over Christ. Does it still have power over us who have been baptized into his death and into his resurrection?
No doubt, death is something every person, every family, has do deal with. Hence, not to be under the power of death is not a question of not dying.
It is a question of having faith in the one who told Martha: “I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live.” And the question he addressed to her, “Do you believe this?” is now made to each one of us.
To believe in Jesus is to accept him as the Messiah, the Son of God, the Servant anointed by the Lord with his Spirit for the mission of announcing the Good News of the Kingdom and of going about doing good. It is to put ourselves at his complete disposal and to make our lives conform to his.
Jesus’ life revolved around the preaching of the Kingdom and the curing of every disease and illness. Everything about his being and doing pointed to his commitment to better life and to fight against everything that would bring destruction to the living.
Jesus announced a kingdom of dignified and wholesome life, of justice, love and peace, of simplicity and generosity. He denounced greed, injustice, indifference, duplicity, hypocrisy. Because he did this, he ended up sentenced to death, and thus was his love to the utmost revealed.
Yes, Jesus looked for a better life for everybody. But love for life did deter him from death, overcome by the fear of it. His death, which revealed his utter poverty, gave rise to new life. Commending his spirit into the hands of the Almighty who raises the dead to life, the same one to whom he had cried out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Jesus conquered death.
And thus do the disciples conquer death, those who trust in their Teacher. Their faith, though little and frightened, moves mountains, vivifies and heals. They pass from death to life since they work with him in announcing the Good News, they help the poor and love as he loves. They are assured, moreover, of the resurrection on the last day, for they eat his flesh and drink his blood in such an authentic manner.
Indeed, as St. Vincent de Paul indicates, we cannot assure ourselves eternal life better “than by living and dying in the service of the poor, within the arms of Providence and in real renunciation of ourselves to follow Jesus Christ” (SV.FR III:392).
Lord Jesus, grant that we serve you in the poor and be united with you and them in your kingdom.
Ross Reyes Dizon