As we enter the season of Advent in the Church – that is, the time of preparation for the birth of Jesus, I’ve continued since the season of Lent – the time of preparation for his death and resurrection, to contemplate his resurrection. This year, with my dad’s passing, the resurrection was more pivotal. I felt desperate to believe in the resurrection, but my rational mind could not truly accept it. I continued my journey into blatant heresies, so far removed to be even recognizable to traditional Christian doctrine, and I continued to feel dejection.
But as I moved in accordance to God’s grace in this recent feast day of Christ the King, I began a new meditation as prompted by one of my favourite apologists, Bishop Robert Barron: is Christ truly the king of my world? As I mentally moved through the checklist, contemplating behaviour change to denote an affirmation, I found a new confidence, and a new relief. I was reminded of a simpler time in my not so distant past, where reliance and trust in God more than sufficed, it enraptured me, and assured me that I was safe and provided for.
It was in my recommitment to the Church that I was given my first glimpse of the reality of the resurrection, which has come to me through clemency, consistency, and heartache. In considering the pandemic, and all of my shortcomings and defeats the past 20 months, I questioned if I lost, or if I am going to lose. But I recalled the teaching that we are victorious in Christ. Through our adoption we become co-heirs – conquers through the resurrection.
I have never had trouble identifying with what the cross represents, especially as a codependent with boundary challenges, but the glory of the resurrection, I could never bring myself to even consider. As I finally felt a rejection of the good things in this world not just on a surface level, but on a deep gut-wrenching sense of loss and forsakenness level, I was able to find a glimmer of belief in the resurrection. I had a sense of relief that not only am I not lost, but I am untouchable.
It is in the fantastical nature of the resurrection that I defeat death and his minions that try to lord in every aspect of my life, and that in a pandemic, seem to win. Even if I can only connect to the resurrection as an idea and this point in my spiritual journey, it is all that is needed to remain triumphant in Christ. How else could I go from feeling truly downtrodden and defeated, to encouraged and revitalized, unless to believe that I am victorious.
This world would have me believe that I am worthless, that I am a victim of my traumas and my circumstances, and that I cannot change. The ruler of this world manipulates people to believe the lies of consumerism and violence, of fast living and disregard for the planet and all life on it. In the death of, and now I see, resurrection of Jesus, we are invited to slow down. To act in dignity and to choose right over wrong, no matter our fears of what others might think.
Today I profess that whether a person believes it or not, whether it’s socially accepted or not, the resurrection, in a most mystical way, is a fact. Nothing, including my hyper-logical mind, can further deter me from this reality. I have relieved those who I have envied from the job of blinding my convictions with the morality of the world, and in that, I replace Christ as my King and final authority over my life, especially my afterlife.