The resurrection of Jesus Christ, is God’s most powerful, wonderful and mysterious ongoing work and miracle in the world.
Bear with me and I shall share with you why.
Two weeks ago August 6th, the Church celebrated the transfiguration of Jesus on Mount Carmel.
This is when Jesus took His disciples, Peter, James and John up the mountain and was transfigured before them.
How did this happen? A cloud surrounds them, and Moses and Elijah appear, talking with Him.
His face shone like the sun, His clothing becomes dazzling, bleached whiter than snow, and a voice from heavens is heard; “This is my Son, the Beloved; with Him I am well pleased;” “Listen to Him.” “Then, the disciples fell to the ground in fear.” (Matthew 17:1-6, Mark 9:2-4-7)
We are told that this appearance by Moses and Elijah confirmed for Jesus His upcoming crucifixion, death and resurrection.
Scripture tells us, “on the testimony of two or three witnesses, a truth shall stand.”
This past week August 15th the Church celebrated, the assumption of the Virgin Mary into Heaven.
St. Thomas, yes doubting Thomas, wrote in the “Gospel according to Thomas”, that he was advised before hand, that if he would return to where Mary was with St. John the Apostle he would see the Assumption of the Virgin Mary.
This you will have to take at my word, for I found the “Gospel of Thomas” in the Vancouver library back in the mid eighties.
Why is this not in the Bible? Well the Gospel of Thomas was not found until 1947 when the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered, that’s over fifteen hundred years after the Bible as we know it today, was assembled.
However the Church did declare the dogma of the “Assumption of Mary” in the Church in 1950 or if you prefer a doctrine of the Church, because of the “Immaculate Conception” status declared in 1854. This was confirmed in 1858, when the Virgin Mary appeared in Lourdes France and identified herself to an illiterate girl, calling herself “The immaculate Conception”.
The visionary Bernadette a girl of twelve or thirteen did not know what this could possibly mean.
We do have a similar previous witness to this fact from the Book of Revelations.
In Chapter eleven of the Book of Revelation: “Then God’s temple was opened. And the Ark of His Covenant was seen within His Temple; and there were flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, an earthquake, and heavy hail.” This was similar to Jesus death and resurrection, (Revelation 11:19 & Matthew 27:50-54)
The appearance of the Virgin Mary in Medjugorje, Croatia, to six visionaries is described as a lady with a crown of twelve stars on her head just like the book of Revelation chapter twelve verse one.
The very next lines describing this apparition are: “A great portent appeared in Heaven: A woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars.”(Revelations 12:1)
Now I’m sure this revelation was meant to depict the Heavenly Church and all of her growing members as they were welcomed into heaven and the following feast.
In other words they became the Bride and Queen of the Lamb who was slain, (Jesus) for our salvation; St. Paul talks about “receiving the crown of righteousness awaiting him and for all who have longed for His appearing.” (2 Timothy 4:8}
This week the Church celebrates on August 22nd, The “Queenship of Mary”.
This title pronounced in May 31, 1954, was where Mary was honored as” Queen of Angels, Patriarchs, Apostles, prophets as well as Queen of Heaven and earth.”
Now what does this mean for you and I? Let’s look at some of the promises in scriptures.
If Mary was assumed into heaven and her many appearances confirm her eternal life it was that we might also believe and hope in our own eternal rest.
“For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, so that by steadfastness and by the encouragement of the scriptures with we might have hope.”(Romans 15:4)
Jesus himself said: “I am the resurrection and the life; those who believe in Me, though they die. Will live; and everyone who lives and believes in Me, will never die.” (John 11:25-26)
Jesus also said: “Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood have eternal life, and I will raise them up on the last day.” (John 6:54)
St. Paul also quoted; “It is written; No eye has seen nor ear heard, nor the human heart conceived, what God has prepared for those who love Him.” (1 Corinthians 2:9)
“The angel said to St. John “write: Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the lamb.” (Revelation 19:9)
If we live with Jesus Christ we shall also rise with Christ Jesus. Amen