Hope in the Resurrection
Throughout history, some people have been willing to die rather than betray their faith. Why and how do they do that? One example is the Algerian martyrs portrayed in the movie Of Gods and Men. In the midst of the civil war in the late 1990s, these men and women knew how dangerous it was to remain in their ministry. Inspired by the courage of Jesus, even when they were given the choice to leave and thus escape the danger of death, they chose to remain.
Theirs is a difficult decision. But once they choose to die for the faith, the incredible joy of belief in the resurrection is evident in their last gathering together—a meal and a total giving of self. In their faces, their gestures and their presence to each other, we get a glimpse of new life, a heavenly feast. Their embrace of death is the living of the Creed that we profess when we say “I look forward to the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come.”
Martyrdom means witnessing, not choose to die, but being so strong in faith that you are willing to risk death. Who are the “resurrection people” for you? Who are some ordinary persons who chose to remain with the people they served? Bishop Oscar Romero, Sister Dorothy Stang in the Amazon, and the four women in El Salvador are contemporary examples for me. They sought justice for the people.
Besides martyrdom, what are some difficult earthly trials, heavy burdens that persons are able to endure because of their hope in the resurrection?