Resurrection and Reality

young woman standing in front of wall with eye painted on it

I remember the first Easter after my dad died, now 26 years ago. I was not impressed by the Easter story that year, because my loved one remained buried and decaying. I wondered what this resurrection business really was about—just a distant hope of bliss in another world? Why didn’t it touch me more here on earth?

Today, we are subjected with round-the-clock news of a civilization in desperate need of resurrection. Thousands of civilian Syrians have died and continue to die in the endless civil war there. High-school students in the USA are mounting an inspiring offensive against the culture of violence here. Massive numbers of refugees struggle to survive while being shuffled between wars and the agendas of fearful nation-states. Then there’s humanity’s aggressive and relentless attack on this good earth God gave us. And on and on.

Lord Jesus, what does your Resurrection mean today? To us? How do we take hold of whatever joy or relief we should be experiencing?

I go to one of my favorite quotes, from theologian Karl Rahner: “The Christian of the future will be a mystic or he will not exist at all.” The mystic understands that we are living in more than one dimension at once. The Christian believes that a larger Reality engulfs the reality she experiences directly and presently. In the Reality, all creation is moving toward the Creator and ultimate redemption and healing. Through Christ’s Passion and Resurrection, we are carried in this immense movement toward God and in concert with the activity of God’s Kingdom. I realize that there’s a lot of theology involved in this paragraph. Please don’t treat this as a doctrinal explanation but as a general picture of who we are: loved by the Ultimate Love Loving, whose work and will are not thwarted by any form of evil.

How do I live the resurrection while living in the here and now? I do not deny the wars and violence and despair; they are real. Neither do I deny the kindness, care, courage, creativity, and the power of our words and actions for the righteous and the good and the compassionate. As a follower of Jesus, who conquered death, I must practice a way of seeing that takes in the larger Reality. This Reality can be seen with faith, and faith is a gift from God.

Can you and I open our spiritual eyes this day, during this season when we celebrate resurrection? Can we recognize signs of God’s Kingdom that are just as present as the wars and the suffering?

Perhaps we don’t have enough faith to see the Reality, the larger view of what God is doing. So we see with the faith we do have. We use our little faith with all the strength and desire we possess. It’s up to God to gift us with greater and greater faith. And, even on my darkest days, I do believe God will deliver.

Try this prayer:

God, I trust that you’re at work in the world. But, honestly, I’d like to see it better. Please grow my faith. Help me embrace the resurrection and new life you offer. Amen.

About Vinita Hampton Wright 163 Articles
Vinita Hampton Wright has served as senior editor at Loyola Press for 16 years and recently became managing editor of the trade books department. She has written various fiction and non-fiction books, including the novel Dwelling Places with HarperOne, Days of Deepening Friendship and The Art of Spiritual Writing for Loyola Press, and most recently, The St. Teresa of Avila Prayer Book for Paraclete Press. Vinita is a student and practitioner of Ignatian spirituality, and from 2009 to 2015 she blogged at Days of Deepening Friendship. For the past few years, she has co-led small groups through the 19th Annotation of the Spiritual Exercises. She lives in Chicago with her husband, three cats, and a dog. In her “spare” time these days, she is working on her next novel.

7 Comments on Resurrection and Reality

  1. Thank you Vinita. You captured the resurrection feeling just as I have thought of it. Your article is very insightful in living the resurrection today.

  2. I really liked this post. It is easy to see the world moving towards destruction without the eyes of faith. Yet, faith the size of a mustard seed, performed by millions of Christians each day ,can have a cumulative effect that accomplishes miracles. We can’t give up!

  3. A spiritual friend sent me Vinita’s message.We cannot besurrounded by the world’s messages.We must be OPEN to giving and receiving-not always questioning. The answer may lie more in the question!.
    At a group prayer meeting 2 words surfaced from a guided reading .the following words came to me:”
    Belief informs behavior;behavior testifies to belief.We must Live It!and wait patiently…….

  4. Thank you Vinita, a very timely Reflection, as our once beautiful world slips ever more away from God. Evil is always there trying to test our faith! Please keep up your reflections
    As we listen and see all the terrible things going on in our once beautiful world, I am sure lots of us wonder where is God in all this? I pray for my faith to increase and then, we see the youth take up the challenge, God Bless them, for their courage to man the barricades, protesting, surely, there , is ” God at work!” A.M.D.G

  5. I too struggle to embrace the fullness of God’s promises and appreciate the love that He has for all of Creation, despite what we humans have done with it. Your theological musings are appropriate and explanatory of how we should be viewing what we can only partially understand.
    Today’s gospel reading from John shows the apostles, once again having a hard time recognizing the “risen” Jesus and afraid to ask Him his name. We see this over and over in the Gospels–on the road to Emmaus, Mary Magdalen thinking Jesus was a gardener and those gathered in the Upper Room. I must daily remind myself, if they were standing in the presence of Jesus and having difficulty in knowing who He was at first, then I must realize it won’t be easy to see Him without being constantly alert to His presence.
    The example of Saint Teresa of Calcutta is a good one for us. She saw Jesus in the eyes and faces of the poor she served every day. That gives me a lot to consider and hope that I too can open my eyes and look for Him today.

  6. Thank you Vinita. Faith flashes fervently for a period, then fades in the ravages of this world reality. Somehow reaching into the rumble with whatever remanent of faith one retains, builds it agin.

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