I don’t know if you heard that a war almost happened this weekend. I am not being sarcastic, the reality is that what I just said is true. It seems that according to online reports linked to Drudge several English language publications indicated that North Korea showed off its latest submarine nuclear ballistic missile, but the Chinese news service mistranslated it and reported to the Chinese that North Korea fired off its latest submarine nuclear ballistic missile.
Obviously, if people did not catch the error that could have started a war or drawn us closer to war. It seems that we are kind of living the Cuban Missile Crisis in another form. At the same time, this is Easter weekend and it is the time we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
It would seem that those two events are not related, but they are very related. Why are we living in a time where people especially in Asia are on edge? Why is there concern that a situation could go out of control quite quickly which the Chinese have warned repeatedly? The answer is simple, we are a race of beings that no matter how hard we try, we cannot build a world that is permanently at peace. To use a phrase that to the apostles would be completely unknown, but is clearly in accords with Church teaching, our inability to build the perfect world is not in our DNA.
We know that Jesus died to save us from our sins, but his death is meaningless without his resurrection. If Jesus did not resurrect from the dead then He is nothing more than an Aramaic speaking version of Socrates. However, since he raised from the dead, He has demonstrated to us who He is, in contrast to who we are and invites to be on the road that leads us to be more like Him into eternal life.
The other option is to be his polar opposite which is not Satan, for Satan is not human. In fact, his polar opposite has appeared many times in different forms.
One of my favorite folk tunes is Jack Hardy’s Ragman which you can find on Youtube where he talks about the different vicious leaders that have appeared over the years who have created great destruction throughout history especially the Twentieth Century. We can think of our own Ragmen the obvious ones from the Twentieth Century are of course Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Pinochet and, of course, the entire family line of North Korean Dictators. If they exist for any reason, it is to remind us that such evil is a potential within every one of us, in one form or another. That is because the ability to be perfect and build a perfect world is not in our DNA but to do things that hurt and destroy is.
Jesus’ resurrection is a call to us to recognize who we are and to make a choice whether we will follow the prince of peace into eternal life or try to solve our own problems here. But we do not have the right DNA to succeed without Christ who does.
This is why this Sunday is not just a liturgical feast that is the height of the entire liturgical year. It is celebration that leads us to confront the question to our very being which path do we want to follow: The one that is led into resurrection by the true prince of peace or the one built on the false notion that he is a myth and we can solve our own problems.
I learned many years ago as a sailor in the Navy, which, let’s face it, is still the most powerful Navy in the world, that it is Christ who is the one to follow for as St. Peter says in John 6, he is the only who has the words of eternal life.
In fact, when we look at the history of the world, Jesus is God, He is the Son of God, but when He died on that cross the whole world was not on edge. Indeed the whole world yawned, because the world did not know him and all that he promises. Meanwhile about a hundred years ago a horrible war started to come to an end. It began three years earlier because a man was shot after his driver took a wrong turn and ended up on the wrong street. That man was Archduke Ferdinand. Whole nations collapsed and the world never was the same after that driver innocently took a wrong turn.
In whom do you put your hopes? Do you put it in those who do not get that they do not have the DNA to build a perfect world, to solve the world’s problems? Or do you put in the one who by resurrecting from the dead promised us eternal life in a kingdom where that DNA would be repaired? It is your choice.
Not only is it your choice, but you have been called agents of that kingdom to lead others to see the truth.
When I was a teenager, my friend and I went to some show at the Hynes Convention Center, it may have been the fishing and camping show. Outside there was a man who had a pin on a table and a ball suspended from a line in front of the pin. The man invited us for maybe a dollar to use the ball and move make it swing around the pin so that on the return swing, it would knock over the pin. He demonstrated it and it worked every time. When we did it, it failed and he took our money. Well, we later learned in physics class that the man was a scam artist. He used a magnet to fool us when he demonstrated it, but in reality without the magnet it was literally a physical impossibility. We did not know enough science to understand it. We later learned the truth in high school physics class.
Jesus’ resurrection is a reminder of the same mission in reality. To believe we can build the perfect world is to be like myself and my friend who believed we could make the ball knock over the pin on the return swing. It looks possible, but it is impossible. When we put our trust in Christ the resurrected one, we can see the true way to build the perfect world and it begins by following Him, because after all he alone came back to show us the way.
A Blessed Easter,
Fr.Robert J Carr
Fr. Carr is member of the Segundo Elo of the Canção Nova Community. He is the pastor of Holy Trinity Quincy, MA and is the editor of this blog. He is the author of several books, blogs and hundreds of videos all of which you may find on Youtube. You can follow him on twitter as @frbobcarr and on Google plus as+FrRobertCarr, his website is Carrbooks.com Thoughts, comments on the homily? Let us know at Facebook