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17 April 2013

The Death Rattle of Evil

We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be made visible in our bodies.  For while we live, we are always being given up to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus may be made visible in our mortal flesh.
2 Corinthians 4:8-11 (NRSV)

The real point of the Paschal Mystery, the res, if you will, is that Christ has stolen from sin the power of eternal death.  

But, evil remains.  We saw it in Boston on Monday.  In fact, we see it in Boston everyday: we see it in the drug war, the levels of addiction, the domestic violence, the lack of basic necessities, the wanton violence that seemingly afflicts a disproportionate number of young faces.  The list could go on and on.

And this happens in all our cities.  And throughout the world.  55 dead after a series of bombings in Iraq.  Violence and destruction, evil really, here there and everywhere.  

In our own hearts too, of course: the grasping, the licentiousness, the prevailing problem that those whom we love most we always seem to hurt the most deeply

And yet.  And yet, this is only the death rattle of evil.  What we see everyday on our streets, what we feel each day in our hearts is the last gasp of evil, it is the sound of the world slipping through the fingers of Darkness and being enveloped in Light.  

The only reason that I know this is because of Easter.  The only reason I foolishly believe that the battle has really been fought, really been won definitively is because of the Cross and Resurrection, because of Easter.  And because of Easter, I need to talk about it, need to explain it, need to let people know that death has lost its sting - not temporarily, not in only the good times.  Indeed, death leaves it mark on all of us today and yesterday and tomorrow.  

However, death does not have the last word in all of this.  In fact, because of God's Christ, we know and we believe that what we are really hearing are the final, pitiful words of the death, the encomium of evil, forever grasping against the Lord's promise of eternal life and His commission to spread the Good News of this life to the ends of the earth.  

But, we are an Easter people. 

And Alleluia is our song.

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