Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
April 26, 2010
Christ's resurrection is real
Vancouver archbishop visits Nothing More Beautiful to proclaim glory of the Risen Lord
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER
EDMONTON - Christians today must forcefully assert the truth that Jesus' resurrection from the dead is a real historical event, not a myth or fairytale, says the archbishop of Vancouver.
Some people today deny the historical resurrection and they must be challenged, Archbishop Michael Miller told a session of Nothing More Beautiful April 15.
"The Church's faith in the resurrection is dependent on the testimony of those who directly experienced the Lord in his glorified body," Miller said. "They saw, heard and even touched him, not only with their eyes or their senses, but also with an interior light that helped them recognize what their external senses perceived as objective fact."
Miller, the former secretary of the Vatican's Congregation for Catholic Education, was the catechist for the event at St. Joseph's Basilica that was focused on the theme, Jesus Christ: Crucified and Risen Lord. The witness testimony was given by George Weigel, a noted American Catholic author and commentator.
Archbishop Richard Smith led the Vespers service into which the speeches were woven. Among those attending the event was Archbishop emeritus Joseph MacNeil who celebrated his 86th birthday that day.
Nothing More Beautiful is a five-year program to spark evangelization in the Edmonton Archdiocese. The final event of the second year will be held May 27 with speakers Cardinal Marc Ouellet of Quebec City and Carl Anderson, international head of the Knights of Columbus.
In his talk, Miller emphasized that Jesus' appearances to the women and to the disciples are the basis for our belief that he left no body to corrupt in the tomb.
Christ's resurrection, he said, quoting Pope Benedict, "is an event that has profoundly changed the course of history, tipping the scales once and for all on the side of good, of life, of pardon."
The archbishop said that makes clear today's mission for us, his disciples: "Joyfully to proclaim and witness to the beauty and wonder of Christ's death and resurrection."
Weigel, the witness, spoke of many places where he has encountered Jesus in his life - through his Baptism, his parents, the order of sisters who educated him, the beautiful music he sang as a part of a choir in his youth, in "the life of the mind in college," in his marriage and family, and in the bond of friendship among serious Catholics.
He spoke of several of those friendships, including his relationship with Pope John Paul II, about whom he wrote a massive biography, Witness to Hope.
Russell Grigaitis of Leduc had Weigel autograph his copy of Witness to Hope and said he had been looking forward to the April 15 Nothing More Beautiful for months.
"I just love cathedral Vespers," Grigaitis said. "It's just not the same praying Vespers on your own."
Joyce Forchuk of Devon has only missed one of the nine Nothing More Beautiful sessions over the past two years. "I'm grateful for the entire series. It's a true blessing for our diocese."
Marilyn Blanchette of Devon enjoyed Miller's talk. "He brought Christ and his sufferings so close. He made Christ very real."
(The transcript of Miller's testimony can be found here, and also is on Pages 10 to 12 of the paper, while Weigel's talk will be published in next week's WCR."
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