Thought for the Day – 15 April – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
“The Resurrection of Jesus Christ, is a fundamental truth of our faith.
Jesus intended it to take place, in such a way, that nobody could reasonably deny it.
There is no historical fact which can be upheld by such clear and ample evidence, as the Resurrection of Our Lord.
It emerges, most of all, from the absolute certainty of Jesus’ death.
After the fearful scourging, crowning with thorns and crucifixion, His blood had poured forth for three hours from His nailed Hands and Feet.
Moreover, even though he saw that Christ was dead, the Roman soldier pierced His heart with a lance.
His body was taken down from the Cross and enclosed in the Tomb until the third day.
Jesus, therefore, was dead and buried.
But, there is still further proof.
The Jews remembered that Jesus had prophesied that He would rise on the third day.
For this reason, they had the sepulchre sealed and they placed a guard of soldiers beside it, so that the body could not be stolen.
In spite of the enormous stone at the mouth of the Tomb, however, Our Lord rose in glory, flinging the sentries into a state of terror and confusion.
The frightened guards ran to the leaders of the Sanhedrin and related what had happened.
If the Jewish authorities had believed that the soldiers were responsible, they would have punished them and, if they had believed that the body of Our Lord had been stolen, they would have searched for it.
Instead, they bribed the soldiers to say that the body of Jesus had been stolen while they were asleep (Mt 28:12).
St Augustine comments on the stupidity of the Jews, in calling on the testimony of sleeping witnesses!
Jesus, moreover, saw to it that St Thomas would not be present when He appeared to the other Apostles and, that he would believe only when he had seen the wounds in His hands and feet and had placed his finger in the gash made by the lance, in Our Lord’s side.
What further evidence could anyone expect?
There is a still stronger proof, however.
After the death of Jesus, the Apostles were an insignificant group of discouraged and disillusioned men, without the daring or the ability, to accomplish anything.
It was only the Resurrection of Jesus which could have given them the supreme courage to stand up to the Jews and to convert the world.
Let us fall in adoration before the risen Christ and say with St Thomas, the Apostle: “My Lord and my God!” (Jn 20:28).”