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Friday, September 17, 2004

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St. Robert Bellarmine

1 Corinthians 15:12-20
Psalm 17
Luke 8:1-3

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jesus is risen! alleluia forever!

"If Christ was not raised, your faith is worthless." —1 Corinthians 15:17

Jesus is raised from the dead, and He has promised to also raise from the dead those who live for Him. This is the major revelation of the Christian faith. If Jesus is risen, then He is God. If He is God, then all His revelations, claims, and promises must be true. If Jesus has not risen, then He is not God, and Christianity must be a sham. We are therefore not forgiven our sins (see 1 Cor 15:17). We are not born again. We are not children of God. We are not free, pure, or holy. "Those who have fallen asleep in Christ are the deadest of the dead" (1 Cor 15:18). If Christ is not risen, "we are the most pitiable of men" (1 Cor 15:19), life is meaningless, there is no hope for us, and we are doomed.

"But, as it is, Christ is now raised from the dead, the First Fruits of those who have fallen asleep" (1 Cor 15:20). In the splendor of the risen Christ's divine glory, we live a radically new life, as children of God, partakers in the divine nature (2 Pt 1:4), and as the Lord's royal, priestly, and holy family (1 Pt 2:9). We are saved, redeemed, chosen, and called to be holy as the Lord is holy (see 1 Pt 1:15-16). We live in final victory, while we merely wait with Jesus for His enemies to be put beneath His feet (see Heb 10:12-13). Although we still take up our crosses each day (Lk 9:23) and share in the sufferings of Christ (Phil 3:10), we live the love, joy, and freedom of Christ's risen life on earth and we look forward to living the perfection of that life face to face with Jesus in heaven.

With ever stronger faith, live the risen life to the full.

Prayer:  Father, strengthen my faith in Jesus' resurrection and show me ways that this faith is being subtly undermined.

Promise:  "The Twelve accompanied Him, and also some women who had been cured of evil spirits and maladies." —Lk 8:1-2

Praise:  St. Robert's defense of truth and Catholic teaching was so blessed by God that it was erroneously believed to have been written by a group of scholars.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Richard L. Klug, January 16, 2004

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, January 26, 2004