Friday, April 10, 2009



“Why do people call today GOOD Friday, Grandma? I’d say it was BAD Friday since people killed Jesus like a criminal on that day when He wasn’t one. Couldn’t God have done a miracle to keep it from happening?”

“Jeffrey, Jesus let Himself be killed on the cross for a special reason; He gave up His life voluntarily so that all of us who accept Him into our hearts and lives wouldn’t have to die for our sins. He died in our place. He could have called ten thousand angels to rescue Him. His suffering and death was BAD, it was terrible, but it turned out to be GOOD.”

"Yeah, when Jesus came back to life on Easter Sunday,right? He surprised everybody! He didn't stay dead. That was GOOD."

“The word we use to describe what happened is RESURRECTION. That means rising from the dead. And because of Jesus’ sacrifice of Himself on GOOD Friday, someday all of us who belong to Jesus will have a resurrection too.”

“How does that work, Grandma? You said that when Christians die, their spirits or souls which are invisible go to be with God in Heaven, but the bodies in which their souls lived are buried in the ground. When do the souls and bodies come together again?”

“When Jesus will return to Earth the second time in all His glory. We don’t know when that will be; only God knows the day and time. Then our spirits which were in Heaven come back into our bodies and we become whole again. We are resurrected.”

“But Grandma, our bodies will be all yucked up from lying in the ground for maybe a long, long time, won’t they? Maybe we’ll be just skeletons! Ooooh! Dancing around just in our bones? Spooky!”

“We don’t know exactly how it will happen. God keeps some things secret. But in the Bible, God gives us some idea of what will happen….”

“I guess you mean it’s another ‘mystery,’ right?”

“It may be hard to understand, but since God created us in the first place, He has no problem in re-creating us again to be the persons we were before—yet different.”

“How do you mean ‘different’?”

“The Bible says our body will be like Jesus’ body after His resurrection—it’s called a ‘glorified’ body, an ‘immortal’ body. That means we will never die again. ‘Mortal’ means that we can die. Jesus’ body looked like He did before, but it could go through walls, disappear in one place and then appear in another. At the same time He could be touched and talk and He could eat.”

“Why would we need those kinds of new bodies?”

“God has big plans for the world and all its people and lots of wonderful surprises. He has to prepare us with the kind of bodies we will need to live with Him forever in Heaven. Then we won’t need space-suits to live in that perfect atmosphere ‘cause we’ll have new transformed bodies for our spirits to live in.”

“So Easter should be a really special celebration, I guess. I just wish Easter would last more than one day.”

“Actually it does! In the Catholic Church from as early as the third century, Easter celebration is a 50-day season. It begins on Easter Sunday and extends all the way to Pentecost Sunday. Pentecost commemorates when God gave the Holy Spirit to the disciples. The prefix ‘penta’ means….”

“I know! It means FIVE-something. Like Pentagon the huge five-sided building where the Department of Defense is located in Virginia.”

“You got it! The name Pentecost originated from the Jewish Feast of Weeks which came 50 days after the Jewish Feast of Passover. Jesus was in Jerusalem to celebrate that feast when the soldiers arrested Him and eventually crucified Him. But I’ll tell you more about Pentecost later. And Passover, too.”

“So we can celebrate Easter for seven weeks? It seems like in our Church we get to stretch out the good stuff to enjoy longer. Like at Christmas. We spend four weeks of Advent to get ready for Christmas. That’s when we light the 4 candles in the Advent wreath each Sunday, isn’t it?”

“Yes, and remember how we ‘stretch out’ Christmas for 12 days too! The 12 days begin on Christmas Day and end at Epiphany, January 6. That’s the time the Wise Men or Magi came to worship and bring gifts to Jesus. In some places people give gifts to each other on Epiphany day and sometimes give Christmas gifts on each of the Twelve Days of Christmas.”

“I like that kind of gift-giving idea! And I sure like the “stretching out” celebrations in our Catholic Church!”


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