[__01__] Jesus Christ is risen and his disciples rejoice.
And, they also investigate.
In this Gospel reading, we see the evidence which is sought for the resurrection of Jesus.
Where would such evidence be found?
It is logical that these disciples - Mary Magdalene and others – would have returned to the last place where they had seen Jesus.
They go to the tomb, to the place of burial.
Is Jesus alive? If so, what does this immortality mean? What does this triumph over mortality mean?
Has Jesus broken all laws of nature, physics, anatomy and physiology by regaining – after death – a heartbeat, brain activity and the ability to speak and walk?
This would be one definition of IMMORTALITY.
We know, for example, that Jesus heals people and restores them to new life and strength. He heals the daughter of Jairus; he raises Lazarus from the dead.
This would be one way of looking at immortality. But even these individuals will go on to die in the normal way.
Jesus has a living physical and mental consciousness. But,this is not the end of his IMMORTALITY.
[__02__] Another definition of immortality or sign of life is this – who remembers him? Who remembers Jesus?
Who will remember you and me after we die?
So, the disciples go to the tomb, asking – do you remember Jesus of Nazareth?
Here is a sketch, he’s about this tall, beard, sandals, looks like somebody religious, you know. Have you seen him lately?
If Jesus is remembered ..then he would be immortal, right?
[__03__] I reflect on these 2 definitions of immortality offered by Father Ronald Knox in a sermon called “The Corner-Stone” about Easter.  .. That is, we define or measure immortality by –
►Physical or mental consciousness. Heartbeat, health … Or in the words of René Descartes, ¨I think therefore I am¨.
Immortality might also be demonstrated by historical achievement.
►HISTORY. Was a person remembered?
Recently, a classmate of mine was inducted into our high school Hall of Fame.
Sometimes we think that people in a Hall of Fame, in the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame (Cooperstown) are immortal because of this recognition.
These are partial, incomplete, definitions of immortality.
For the Christian life calls us not simply to gain a long life of health and strength and low blood sugar or to earn popularity and name recognition. It´s good to have all of the above. However, this is not Christian immortality.
Even the early disciples were a little confused about this.
At first, they were searching only for Jesus´ body. And, they wanted evidence of who had seen him.
[__04__] What we observe in the Easter – Resurrection Gospel is both an appearance and a disappearance.
Yes, Jesus appears to them. He is visible, recognizable. However, in the Ascension, even this particular body will be taken away. He will disappear.
But we believe that, in his immortal state – or resurrected state - he remains with us.
We celebrate the Holy Eucharist, remembering that he has died for us and that he still lives and rises for us.
We recall that our Lord appears and disappears.
St. Paul writes that if our earthly dwelling, a tent, should be destroyed, we have a dwelling from God, not made with human hands, eternal in heaven, for we walk by FAITH and not by SIGHT.
In the Holy Eucharist, we see evidence of the Risen Lord. Jesus has taken a form in which he disappears into the physical appearance of those who eat his body and drink his blood. He disappears into the Church.
As a analogy, Christ also disappeared into the tomb. What emerged from the tomb was also Jesus, in bodily form, but different from his earlier form.
[__05__] We are called to imitate Christ´s immortality in this appearance and this disappearance.
Our personal connection to him is based on our ability to appear – to be present to others – but also at times – to DISAPPEAR, to allow God – the Holy Spirit to be present.
[EXAMPLES – silence – prayer for others – return a blessing rather than an insult… forgiveness….]
That is, we DISAPPEAR so that God can work through us and in us.
You and I are also precious immortal gifts. We are not defined merely by our physical dimensions or history.
In Psalm 139, we read the testimony that God knew us and loved us even before we were born:
“O God you search me and you know me .. it was you who created my being, knit me together in my mother’s womb….”
In other words, God knew us and loved us even before our birth …before we had full physical consciousness and identity or a name.
We also believe that God loves us and calls us to him knowing we are sinners.
This part of the appearance and disappearance (HOW SO ?? – EXPLAIN / CONNECT THIS…)
And, in our lives, in our Christian calling, we try to live this out by appearing and disappearing.
For example, we are present to our children. But, in a way, we also decrease so that another may increase.
In matrimony, the 2 individuals disappear so that one new person united in heart and mind may emerge.
And, in our prayer time, when we pray before God, yes we are APPEARING BEFORE GOD .. but we are also letting God be present to us so that his will can be done in our lives.
…. So that when we are meditating on the resurrection, we are also asking Jesus to live in us, so that we can live this new life of immortality so that he can be part of our lives of charity and justice... forever.