Seeming defeat, then and now
Just as the apostles fled from Christ when the princes of the world went against Him two thousand years, their successors flee from Him today. Just as the High Priest, Caiphas, judged that it would be best that Christ died for the people, we witness the same betrayal in the Church today: Her princes judge it best that His doctrine - Truth - be sacrificed for the sake of acceptance by the world. Just as everything seemed lost – even Peter the Rock had given way – so it is today.
But just as Christ’s victory over death and sin was won two thousand years ago, it remains won today.
Poor human judgement then
The victory was won after what seemed to be a calamitous series of poor judgements:
- He shouldn’t have chosen poor men and sinners as His entourage;
- He shouldn’t have antagonised the Scribes and the Pharisees so;
- He shouldn’t have gone to Jerusalem;
- He shouldn’t have slipped away when they wanted to make Him a king;
- He shouldn’t have consecrated Judas when He knew that he would betray Him;
- He shouldn’t have kept silence before the Sanhedrin;
- He shouldn’t have let them humiliate Him, torture Him, condemn Him and execute Him in the most shameful and painful way.
No reasonable man would have done these things or allowed these things to happen. The handwringing of the pilgrims on the road to Emmaus, gives testimony to this. It was indeed unreasonable in human eyes, but the eyes of Christ were also divine and so victory was inevitable.
Poor human judgement now
The same is true in the Church today. Judged as a human institution, it is a disaster, but judged with the eyes of supernatural faith, we see the victory of Christ's resurrection in Her:
- She is a Church of sinners, and yet She produces the saints;
- She is a Church that has always fearlessly condemned error and injustice no matter how powerful the perpetrators, and yet She still stands while they all pass away;
- She is a Church that courts danger, and yet is the only true safe haven;
- She is a Church that shuns the honours of the world, and yet is the most honoured by being its greatest adversary;
- She is a Church that anticipates a poor return on Her gifts, and yet lavishes them all the same;
- She is a Church that knows when to be silent in the face of hatred, and thereby speaks with the greatest eloquence;
- She is a Church that is ready to face humiliation and death, and so give testimony to Her eternal victory.
Faith in the Resurrection
Today, my dear brethren, let us rejoice if we be living members of this Church. Let us not judge with human reason alone, but judge by reason elevated by the supernatural virtue of faith. Faith in the Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ, is faith in our own resurrection if we be His living members.
No matter how many of her children abandon Her, no matter how much the ministers of the Church betray Her, no matter how powerful her adversaries that beset Her, the victory is won. In her darkest moments of suffering the Blessed Virgin Mary never wavered in her faith in victory; and She was rewarded, as tradition recounts, by the apparition of Jesus on the morning of the Resurrection. May we, by her intercession, be rewarded by His personal visitation in the Blessed Sacrament today and by His vibrant resurrected presence in His Holy Church.
I wish you all a blesséd Easter.
Rev. Robert Brucciani