The Absolute Novelty of Resurrection

It seems to me that the absolute novelty of the resurrection of Jesus from the dead should be front and center in all that concerns the New Evangelization, and should be much more explicitly the thread that is invoked throughout as the content of the faith that the New Evangelization seeks to deepen and celebrate. … If there is no such thing as the resurrection of Jesus – or, if there is no focused talk about it – then many interesting things perhaps remain in the Christian religion: attractive ideas about God; a sense of moral uprightness; lots of charity, though it wouldn’t necessarily be clear why. Jesus has an interesting message and is a clever teacher. But to use the words of Benedict XVI in his chapter on resurrection in his book Jesus of Nazareth, “Only if Jesus is risen has anything really new occurred that changes the world and the situation of mankind.” This is the crucial question. Did Jesus really rise from the dead? If so, then absolutely everything is different, changed. Pope Benedict goes on to state the matter this way: “Whether Jesus merely was or where is also is – this depends on the Resurrection.”

Jeremy Driscoll, “Preaching the Resurrection: Central Content of the New Evangelization”, in To All the World: Preaching and the New Evangelization, Michael E. Connors, ed. (Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 2016), p. 143. ISBN: 978-0-8146-4708-0.

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