In the First Reading for this Mass, taken from the Prophet Daniel, we heard: ‘Of those who lie sleeping in the dust of the earth many will awake, some to everlasting life, some to shame and everlasting disgrace.’ For his listeners it was a difficult message. They didn’t expect that. Even today this mystery is rejected. Last year a survey was conducted in the UK which showed that half of the Brits don’t believe in the Resurrection. Some even said that it wasn’t important to believe in the Resurrection in order to be a Christian. However St Paul in the Letter to the Corinthians explains: ‘If there is no resurrection of the dead, Christ himself cannot have been raised, and if Christ has not been raised then our preaching is useless and your believing is useless.’
Last year a movie ‘The case for Christ’ was released. It was based on the book written by Lee Strobel, a once Chicago journalist, in which he wrote an account of his journey from being a sceptic and atheist to embracing Jesus Christ as his Lord and Saviour. The whole movie is about Lee doing his best to prove to his wife who became a Christian that she was mad. As a journalist he did his own investigation to prove that Jesus’ Resurrection was not true but after gathering all the data, after interviewing all sort of experts, Lee looks at the blackboard with his notes and says: ‘God you win.’
Lee’s acknowledgment of the truth of the Resurrection echoes our Gospel where we heard: ‘They will see the Son of Man coming in the clouds with great power and glory; then too he will send the angels to gather his chosen from the four winds, from the ends of the world to the ends of heaven.’ By the way it is the second reason I love the Book of my patron saint: Prophet Daniel. The prophet used the expression: ‘the Son of Man’ which Jesus Christ applied to himself. The Prophet spoke of the final days of the Universe. He was proclaiming the resurrection of the dead and the coming of the mysterious figure of the Son of Man. For sure he saw this figure returning to the earth full of glory and power. It was the person who was given the authority over the entire Universe but the Prophet couldn’t miss that this mysterious figure was well and truly human. We are not yet there, I mean in the times of which Prophet Daniel wrote but we know who and what make prophesy of Daniel real.
Firstly it is Jesus Christ, God who is truly divine and human. Jesus didn’t take off his humanity, like a cloak, when he ascended to heaven. He is in heaven with his humanity. He is still the Son of Man ‘who will come to judge the living and the dead.’
Secondly it is Jesus’ Resurrection which Lee Strobel tried to discredit but despite his best efforts he admitted that Resurrection is real. Those who say that there is no Resurrection are spreading fake news. Don’t listen to them. Listen to the Good News. Jesus died and rose from the dead for us and our salvation.
When Lee Strobel began his investigation into Jesus’ Resurrection he asked a priest: ‘How can you build your life on this belief in the Resurrection. It like is building on sand.’ The priest answered: ‘We have built our Christian life on that for two thousand years and we are still standing.’
My Dear Fellow believers. Believe that the Lord died and rose from the dead. Build your life and faith on that and it will not collapse. This is the Good News.