If anybody gripes about Catholics being so down and dreary, especially during the 40 days of Lent, you can remind them that the season of Easter is 50 days of rejoicing in our risen Lord.
The days leading up to Easter are typically the time when the attack of Christianity ramps up as predictably as the holy seasons themselves. This is the time when the media air documentaries that attempt to de-mythologize Christianity to little more than a simple philosophy and the supernatural events in the Bible such as the miraculous healings and the resurrection itself are fantastic flights from reality in order to emphasize the teachings contained therein.
One cannot credibly read the Bible, take it in and hold such a view since St. Paul says in 1 Corinthians that if Christ had not risen, then our faith is in vain. I don’t think there’s any way to oppose the literality of that. But those who take the view that the Bible was conspired on out of other men’s creativity, namely that of the apostles, will have to reconcile with some inconvenient facts.
In the story of the Passion itself, the Apostles, especially Peter, their first leader, could not have consented to being portrayed the way they were. In the Gospel accounts, the Apostles often fail to understand Jesus, they are rebuked several times, they fall asleep on him in the Garden of Gethsemane, and Peter cowardly denies Him three times. At the resurrection, the Apostles are not even the first witnesses to the empty tomb. Having been written in as the first witnesses would have boosted their personal credibility. If something is too good to be true, it usually is. In the Gospel accounts, the Fathers of our faith have no choice but to consent to having their failures publicly documented for millennia. This flies in the face of what we would understand to be motivations of deception. Could they really be so clever as to plan such a reaction from the start? What about the martyrdoms that followed each of them? Self-preservation for a liar would have burst the bubble ages ago, and for what?
As ridiculous as the Good News could be, how much more ridiculous to try so easily dismissing the accounts. The Lord is Risen indeed, Alleluia.
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