Sunday, April 21, 2019

Hope In the Resurrection Stronger Than Death

Kierkegaard the 19th-century Danish philosopher, called the Father of Existentialism, said: "anxiety is a disease that leads to death."

Uneasiness comes from humanity thinking themselves masters of the world. Strong in their belief they can solve the problems of this age but in the process give rise to obsessions, delusions and a myriad of psychopathological problems for many to carry.

Heidegger asserts that death is the terminus of our thinking. In one way, the fundamental reason we think, worry and become anxious is to avoid death. So begins the article in the Catholic Times in the Eyes of the Believer column by a Jesuit college professor.

We experience life dying in us when we feel we are in a muddy bog, unable to move and life is leaving us. When I have worked hard and in all sincerity and no recognition and reward follow, there is no courage to stand up against the present reality because of fear of failure. I feel that no one understands me. The righteous in the world are ignored and the worldly and selfish get the high seats, we become frustrated and lose hope.

In Zen Buddhism, however, it is said enlightenment comes when we die. The bigger the death the greater the life (大死大覺).  Catholic spirituality also experiences the present renewal, regeneration, resurrection, only when we fully accept the existential meaning of death. The journey to an adult butterfly begins with the egg, larva, pupa. We are on a similar journey.

The journey we are on means poverty, shamefulness, difficulties, but when we face them head on, hope in the resurrection appears. Jesus' death shows the state of misery that can't be beautified. Loneliness and anguish in Gethsemane, betrayal of the disciples, rejection by the people, mockery, death on the cross... Jesus always lived with the dream he was given by God and endured all that came.

The Pascal Mystery is the Passion, Death, Resurrection, and Ascension of Jesus to give life to all of us. Jesus taught us that new life can come from death. Meaning can always be found in our lives. Light can be found in darkness. Jesus has given us a new way of living. Death does not have the last word and no longer an object of fear. Hope is always present and helps us to give hope to others. Resurrection faith invites us to do battle to pursue the truth for God will win in the end.

Korea has faced many problems and many have fought courageously with their lives. The March 1st Movement and the military dictatorship opposition, and many others who fought for truth and justice have always been opposed by those who lived comfortably with the injustices and in many ways benefited. Consequently a desire to distort history and truth.

But the resurrection does not just mean worldly success and victory! The hope of the resurrection is not the fulfillment of desire, but the mystery of God that fills our lives! Resurrection faith is in a heart that can see the truth that no amount of darkness can overcome—the light, hope, and trust that we have in God. We are called to live as 'witnesses of the resurrection' so that 'God's dream and love' will go beyond the boundaries of life and death here in this world.

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