October 19, 2020 (Community in Mission) — If asked “How do you know that Jesus Christ rose from the dead?” most would answer, “Because it says so in the Bible.” While this is true, there is a much better answer: “We know that Jesus is risen from the dead because the Apostles said so.” They were eyewitnesses. Jesus Himself attested to this when He said,
Thus it is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and in His name repentance and forgiveness of sins will be proclaimed to all nations, beginning in Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things (Luke 24:46–48).
And we read in Acts:
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. (Acts 1:8).
The Apostles also said of themselves,
We are witnesses of these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey Him (Acts 5:32).
And again, from Acts,
God raised Him up on the third day and caused Him to be seen—not by all the people, but by the witnesses God had chosen beforehand, by us who ate and drank with Him after He rose from the dead. He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that He is the One appointed by God to judge the living and the dead … (Acts 10:40–42).
So, it is the eyewitness testimony of the Apostles on which our faith in the Resurrection of Jesus Christ is founded. Surely, too, the Holy Spirit assists us who have Faith to assent and cling to this truth.
Some may ask, “How can we know that what the Apostles, and later wrote, is true? What if they made the whole thing up or were delusional? What if, by Resurrection, they merely meant that Jesus lived on in their hearts and in their memory?”
PETITION UPDATE (9/26/2020):
With President Trump's nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court left by the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, we are closer than we have been in decades to seeing Roe vs. Wade overturned.
We now encourage the Senate to confirm Barrett as the next Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.
Judge Barrett has a fantastic track recond on sanctity of life issues, has seven children, and is a devout believer. She is the perfect remedy for Ruth Bader Ginsburg's radical pro-abortionism.
Please READ the full story here: 'BREAKING: Trump nominates Catholic mom of 7 Judge Amy Coney Barrett to Supreme Court'
And then, please SIGN this petition telling the High Court that it's now time to end the activist Roe vs. Wade judgment. Thank you!
PETITION UPDATE (6/29/2020):
In a decision which has imperiled more abortion-minded women, sentenced more preborn to death, and upset pro-lifers across the nation,the United States Supreme Court decided 5-4 to strike down a Louisiana law requiring basic medical precautions in the event of abortion complications, with Chief Justice John Roberts reversing his own past decision to uphold a similar Texas law.
Liberal Justice Stephen Breyer wrote the majority opinion, which held that the Louisiana law was unconstitutional for the simple fact that it was “almost word-for-word identical” to the Texas one the court already struck down in 2016.
In his concurring opinion, Chief Justice Roberts acknowledged that he had “joined the dissent in Whole Woman’s Health and continue to believe that the case was wrongly decided. The question today however is not whether Whole Woman’s Health was right or wrong, but whether to adhere to it in deciding the present case.”
We call on the Supreme Court to stop supporting the culture of death and overturn Roe vs Wade, now.
PETITION UPDATE (1/20/2020):
Hundreds of thousands of people will gather in Washington, D.C., this coming Friday, January 24th, for the March for Life. They will be praying for an end to Roe vs Wade, as the Supreme Court will hear a crucial, abortion-related case later this year in March. United our voices can change the course of history. Sign this petition TODAY! (LEARN MORE BELOW)
PETITION UPDATE (1/3/2020):
In advance of the Supreme Court's hearing arguments in an important abortion case later this year in March, 207 U.S. Senators and Representatives have signed amicus briefs supporting a Louisiana law requiring abortionists to have admitting privileges at a hospital nearby an abortion center.
Some of these supporting briefs also suggest that now is the time to reconsider Roe vs Wade as sound law.
Please SIGN this petition, calling on the U.S. Supreme Court to strike down Roe vs Wade.
More than 60 million Americans have been slaughtered in their mother's wombs as a result of Roe v. Wade. This activist, unconstitutional ruling in 1973 has left countless women emotionally and psychologically scarred.
It was believed by many that Roe would be overturned in 1992 with Planned Parenthood v. Casey. Despite having eight Republican-appointed judges at the time, the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 to uphold it.
Since then, major gains have been made in the fight for life, and many lives have been saved.
However, Roe v. Wade remains the law of the land, leaving millions of defenseless pre-born children vulnerable to murder.
According to a 2016 study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 35% of aborted babies are African American, despite black women only making up six percent of the U.S. population. 19% of aborted babies are Hispanic.
We thus again call on the court to do everything they can to end Roe vs Wade.
Now is the time for pro-lifers to join together and ensure that all of God's children have a right to life.
Roe v. Wade must come to an end!
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The best reply to such questions was given by St. John Chrysostom and was read by clergy and religious recently in the Breviary:
How could twelve uneducated men, who lived on lakes and rivers and wastelands, get the idea for such an immense enterprise [of spreading the Gospel worldwide]? How could men who perhaps had never been in a city or a public square think of setting out to do battle with the whole world? That they were fearful, timid men, the evangelist makes clear; he did not reject the fact or try to hide their weaknesses. Indeed, he turned these into a proof of the truth. What did he say of them? That when Christ was arrested, they fled, despite all the miracles they had seen, while he who was leader of the others denied him!
How then account for the fact that these men, who in Christ’s lifetime could not stand up to the attacks by the Jews, now set forth to do battle with the whole world if Christ was dead — if, as you claim, Christ did not rise and speak to them and rouse their courage? Did they perhaps say to themselves: “What is this? He could not save himself but now he will protect us? He did not help himself when he was alive, but now that he is dead he will extend a helping hand to us? In his lifetime he brought no nation under his banner, but by uttering his name we will win over the whole world?” Would it not be wholly irrational even to think such thoughts, much less to act upon them?
It is evident, then, that if they had not seen him risen and had proof of his power, they would not have risked so much (Hom. 4,3.4: PG 61,34–36).
Indeed, and not only did they risk so much, they suffered so much! Every one of them except perhaps John died as a martyr. I highly doubt that they would done this for a lie they had concocted or for some vague notion that Jesus lived on in some way in their hearts. Clearly, they were so convicted and moved by the Resurrection that their lives were profoundly changed. In modern slang, “It really rocked their world!” St. Paul, too, saw Christ not only risen but ascended and at the Father’s right hand. He was never the same and devoted his life to the relentless proclamation of the Gospel in spite of beatings, stoning, imprisonments, shipwrecks, and finally martyrdom. Who would do such a thing for a made-up story or a vague hope? The evidence is clear from the response of their lives that the Resurrection was something both real and profoundly animating. They could not help but speak of what they saw and heard:
That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our own eyes, which we have gazed upon and touched with our own hands—this is the Word of life. And this is the life that was revealed; we have seen it and testified to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life that was with the Father and was revealed to us. We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard (1 John 1:1–3).
As for the charge of delusion, it may be possible for one man to be delusional, maybe even two, but twelve men collectively having the same delusion? To believe this would take more faith than simply to believe they were telling the truth. Recall that Thomas at first disbelieved the other Apostles, perhaps thinking them to be lying or even crazy. But then he, too, saw the Risen Lord and was forever changed. He traveled to far off-India to preach Christ and ultimately died for the truth he proclaimed.
It was not a lie nor a fanciful hope nor a delusion — only the actual occurrence of the Resurrection can adequately explain the heroics and tenacity of the Apostles in going forth to proclaim the truth. The Apostles are trustworthy eyewitnesses. Christ is risen indeed!
Published with permission from the Archdiocese of Washington.