some personal views for Catholic readers
"...but God raised him from the dead..." Acts 2:24.One of the beauties of Roman Catholic theology when viewed from elsewhere, (as it is in my case)is to be able to leave speculation and speak of "mystery".God did the "raising" we notice in Acts. We forget this and think Jesus raised himself.The Trinity is an incomprehensible mystery and, as I see on a daily basis, trying to think it out with limited human intellect simply leads to division.Discuss? Perhaps not.
I don't think we can say that, no. Nietzsche did, and he was an atheist. I thought Aquinas was saying that the person Jesus of the trinity was dead, which is true. God is unchanging. You could say that Jesus had the tougher role because he was divine and human and in his humanity had to put up with all sorts of unpleasantness, just as we have to ourselves. But then that's underestimating the mind and the love of God. I don't think we can fathom the Trinity.What I do think dies is The Church. I find it really awful going into churches during Passiontide and seeing the statues covered, the holy water stoups empty or worse, filled with sand. NO Saturday morning Mass this morning. The Tabernacle empty. I felt absolutely desolate yesterday at the 3 o clock service when I walked in and saw the doors just swinging open and nothing there. And the night before. It felt like someone had stolen Him. Just empty shells of buildings. The Church dies every year and I really hate it. And we're all supposed to get over it and dress up and head off to the Easter Vigil tonight and be really jolly.
In non-theological terms, which is what most of us have to think in, God, and therefore Christ, is not dead. He cannot be. But He did withdraw to a state which continued until the Ascension and possibly still continues.That is, He could choose to appear and to disappear, to manifest Himself as Spirit and/or as solid body and Spirit, as he did to Thomas. The empty tabernacle signifies that he has died in human terms but in Spiritual terms, He is still available to us and has only withdrawn, to return at the Resurrection, since when he has remained with us, Spiritually available, and Spiritually still on the cross.I personally think that last point is important.
My parents are dead and buried but I believe they never ceased to exist and are Alive because of the Baptism they received many years before death. So much depends on how we understand "dead", I suggest. But an interesting provocative post. Many Thanks. Happy Easter, Father .
This is how El Greco painted this: http://www.wga.hu/art/g/greco_el/05/0504grec.jpg . I used that in my blog post for Holy Saturday.A Happy Easter, Father Ray, to you, your parishioners and your readers.
Surely we all go through an experience called "death". "Dead" means that we have been through that experience. For a Christian though death is the gateway to life - Mors Janua Vitae. So the word "dead" has a different meaning for Christians than for those who do not believe in eternal life. So Jesus is dead in the Christian sense but not in the atheist's sense.Nicolas Bellord
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