A Journey to Resurrection
by Deacon Thomas Frankenfield
He is Risen! The Easter Season continues to be a time of joy for Christians everywhere. This season of hope is truly the time that we celebrate who we are as a Christian Community. It is without doubt that our God has a wonderful plan of love for all of us. Let us continue to be "People of Resurrection" and realize that God's love is like the sun shining at all times. Our Easter's flowers grow from the compost of our Lenten purification. However, I ask you…"Do you really believe in Resurrection? Do you hold your head up high and proclaim resurrection in your non-verbal behavior? This past week somewhat challenged me in this area
My Personal Journey
Last week my 43 year old brother John was suddenly called home to join the Lord in joy and peace for all eternity. Throughout the entire grieving process, I am challenged to balance the pain of his sudden loss with the Church's teaching on heaven. The Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) states it so well, "In the glory of heaven the blessed continue joyfully to fulfill God's will…they reign with Christ…for ever and ever." (CCC 1029) On one hand I am very happy that my brother is in eternal glory but in my heart, I miss him so very much. As I stood before friends and family preaching the most difficult homily of my life, I felt the warm hand of God on my shoulder and when I began to slip into tears. Yet, the deep breaths I took were filled with the Holy Spirit. My words were transformed from sharing about a guy I loved with all my heart, to proclaiming the joy of "real resurrection."
A Call to Believe!
Like most of us, my brother did not lead a perfect life and felt many bumps in his Christian journey. Yet, during the two days of Rites and public prayer, we were ministered to by the stories of how he touched lives. Yet, we rarely shared the greatest gift-heaven. Maybe it was because of the unknown. Possibly it was the depths of our pain. So, my continued theme of "Do you really believe…?" became "Do I really believe in John's eternal life?" We rarely act like we believe that death was a great victory due to the pain of our human condition. It remains a teaching point for all in ministry.
Given all of that, I ask you this now and I promise to challenge you with these words for as long as I serve the People of God "Do you really believe…?" Pick the area of faith. It works for all areas of doctrine. Because if we "really believe," we are then empowered by our Baptism to live and act like we believe.
For me it means that I have not lost a brother but that his journey's new direction is one of joy via Resurrection with the Lord. Yes Lord, I do believe!
For your reflection:
From a Ministry Perspective:
- Do you really believe in the Resurrection of the Dead? Listen to your words and look at your actions. Do they proclaim to all you minister with, that we will live forever?
- Can you clothe yourself in the celebratory liturgical colors of white when thinking about the future deaths of members of your ministry teams? What difficulties do you have in this area?
From a Family Perspective
- Does your family actually believe in the Resurrection of the Dead? Listen to your family's words and look at their actions, do their words and action show that they really understand that we will live forever? How can you help?
- Can you clothe yourself in the celebratory liturgical colors of white when thinking about the future deaths of members of your family, including parents, children, spouses, friends and other family members? What difficulties do you have in this area?
I would love your feedback, thoughts, stories and ideas. Please email me.
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