The reality of the risen Jesus fills us with peace and consolation because he is truly with us. His resurrection assures us of his final victory over evil. The genuineness of Easter keeps us from worry, fear and discouragement. It sustains us in times of trial and it opens the heart to the expectation of eternal life.
My dear friends, as we contemplative the gospel narratives about the resurrection of Jesus, there is something in the Gospel of Saint John that is difficult to understand. Why did Mary Magdalen think that the Risen Jesus was the gardener? “Supposing him to be the gardener…” (John 20: 15).
Think of a place on earth that is very, very hot. Think of a time when there were no washing machines; no dry cleaners; no Malls to buy clothes; people making their own clothes; and people have only a few outfits.
During the time when Jesus walked the earth, gardeners worked naked. So, if Mary Magdalen looked upon a naked man and thought that he was the gardener, could it be possible that Jesus rose from the dead naked and if that were the case, why is it important for our consideration?
Referring to John the Evangelist when he waited for Peter before entering the empty tomb, the same narrative says: “he bent down and saw the linen cloths lying on the ground…” (John 20: 5). Then when Peter enters the tomb, the Gospel tells us that “he saw the linen cloths on the ground, and also the cloth that had been over his head; this was not with the linen cloths but rolled up in a place by itself” (John 20: 6-7).
We live in a pornographic culture. Millions of people are addicted to pornography. It is all around us.
What is pornography? It is a lie. It is counterfeit. It is a distortion. And you know who the father of lies is, right?
The only way to be free from pornography is through the truth of the human body.
Go to Rome. Enter into the great basilicas; the museums; the plazas and what do you see? The naked body; the truth of the body.
And you know what? In Rome you do not notice an obsession with pornography the way you do in our own culture. Why? Because the Romans, like everyone who lives in a Catholic culture are immersed in the truth of the body.
Catholicism is physical. We have art and music. We have poetry and incense. We have feast days with food and wine. We have gardens and fountains. We have saints, mystics and incorrupt bodies lying in tombs. We are immersed in the physical because Jesus has risen from the dead with a glorified body.
With the resurrection of Jesus, the physical is exalted.
“The glory of God is man fully alive” are the beautiful words of Saint Irenaeus.
Too many people are walking around like disconnected from others, absorbed with themselves, because they are immersed in the pornographic.
We need to be able to see again.
We need a new romance.
We need to fall in love again.
As Saint Augustine says, "To fall in love with God is the greatest of romances, to seek him the greatest adventure, to find him the greatest human achievement."
“We are the people of life because God, in his unconditional love, has given us the Gospel of life and by this same Gospel we have been transformed and saved. We have been ransomed by the ‘Author of life’ at the price of his precious blood. Through the waters of Baptism we have been made a part of him, as branches which draw nourishment and fruitfulness from the one tree. Interiorly renewed by grace of the Spirit, who is the Lord and giver of life, we have become a people for life and we are called to act accordingly” (Evangelium Vitae