FaithLifestyle Lazarus, resuscitation and resurrection by: – April 9, 2011 Tweet 32 Views no discussions Share Share Share Sharing is caring! Photo credit: lent. goarch.orgThe narrative of Lazarus in this weekend’s gospel was obviously chosen because Easter is getting closer, and Easter is all about resurrection, or what happened to Jesus after he died. Lazarus’ death is a vague anticipation of this, and the point of it is to make us look at what it suggests, even if it does so quite inadequately.What happened to Lazarus was not resurrection but resuscitation. Lazarus got his old life back. Resurrection is not getting back one’s old life.That didn’t happen to Jesus, and won’t happen to us. Lazarus had to die a second time, that time for good. What happened after the second time – that’s the sphere of resurrection.One more observation in this general area. Within recent times, we have become familiar with what are called “near death” experiences. This, according to those who have experienced it, refers to leaving one’s body and ‘travelling’ in ‘another’ sphere, being conscious all the while of enjoying an experience which is ‘outside’ the body,’ and incredibly richer than anything previously experienced in the body. One returns at length to the much poorer world the body inhabits.Once again, that experience of rich life outside the body is not resurrected life, however one chooses to refer to it. Like Lazarus, travellers return to their old life and old body, and have to die a second time (or really for the first time), and die then for good.The first condition of resurrection in the light of all of this is obvious, and that is you must be really dead.One of the more striking things I learnt when I began to study theology was that in the Bible resurrection was not always a matter of religious belief. What was important was life – this life. Put simply, death was the ultimate tragedy.When all was said and done, as Ecclesiastes put it, “living dog is better off than dead lion (9:4).” Your living little pothound, in other words, was better off than the king of the beasts. Only gradually did a perspective more familiar to us emerge, and it did so not from philosophical considerations. The Psalmist said that Yahweh couldnot allow his loved one to fall into oblivion. Life after death was a reality, in other words, because of Yahweh’s love.Since that love was eternal, its object, the fallible mortal creature, also endured eternally in some way, i.e. its life persisted beyond death. That was now the notion of ‘life after death’ or ‘immortality’ emerged Biblically.I keep wondering what people today, including people in the pews, indeed, I myself, really believe about this. The impact of science or ‘the scientific world view’ on how we think today is so unconsciously strong that for us an ordinary temptation is to feel, rather like Ecclesiastes, that this life is really everything. The rest is just a fable.The first thing to realize is that what we say here belongs to the realm of faith. It is based on accepting the word of God, not on philosophical conclusions or, more importantly perhaps, not on human need. The second thing is that no complete description of life after death is possible. Which does not meant that we are completely tongue-tied. We must start, as the Psalmist did, with creation. We – and the whole universe – were created out of love. In view of later revelation, creation was the first phase of a project God eventually intended to complete.The goal, the culmination, was resurrection, i.e., completion or transformation, both for ourselves and the rest of the universe. Recall here St. Paul’s famous observation in Romans 8:21-22, that the physical universe itself groans in birth pangs, as it too longs for completion.Biblically speaking, resurrection has two meanings, first as ‘life after death’ and secondly, life after ‘life after death.’ The first is the ‘intermediate’ resurrection of being, as Jesus said, “where I am,” the “today” promised to the repentant thief; and the second is the general resurrection of everyone and the complete transformation of the cosmos.This is what the Bible means by heaven, not a solitary discarnate enjoyment of God but the complete transformation of the created universe — the marriage of heaven and earth — of which human beings are an essential part. The reason that this does not come home to us as it should is that we can’t imagine a non-corruptible universe.Everything we know breaks down, including ourselves, and eventually comes to nothing. Thus, we ordinarily tend to think that reality means entropy, and we never see “the end” as fruition (the coming of the Kingdom) but as decay and dissolution.All that we do, however, while we live, to build up God’s kingdom, everything done in the name of Christ, will not pass out of existence but be incorporated into the final transformation.This is the Christian vision of the end. What perhaps remains etched into our consciousness is the idea of the ‘beatific vision,’ which conveys the dominant impression that heaven essentially involves “seeing.”The more Biblical way of looking at the matter is to conceive of heaven as completion or transformation, my own in solidarity with the elect of God, that is, with all who chose God by their lives, and the complete transformation of the universe.By: Father Henry Charles, Ph. d
NEW YORK, CMC – At least two lawsuits have been filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York challenging the legality of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency of making civil immigration arrests for Caribbean and other immigrants without a judicial warrant or court order in and around New York State courthouses.The lawsuits have been filed by New York Attorney General Letitia James, the Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez, the Legal Aid Society and the law firm, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP.The first lawsuit, filed jointly by James and Gonzalez, alleges that ICE arrests in and around courthouses impede the administration of justice and adversely impact public safety.The suit seeks to halt a two-year pattern of civil immigration arrests by federal ICE agents in and around state courts, “which have caused a major disruption to state court operations,” James said.The second lawsuit, filed by New York’s The Legal Aid Society and Clearly Gottlieb, seeks a permanent injunction, ordering the halt of ICE courthouse enforcement on behalf of an individual plaintiff — a noncitizen domestic violence survivor who needed to appear in court for an order of protection but feared the risk of an ICE arrest coming to a courthouse.Other plaintiffs include the non-profit groups Make the Road New York, Urban Justice Center, Sanctuary for Families, The Door and the New York Immigration Coalition.Since Donald Trump became President in 2017, ICE arrests in and around New York courthouses have increased by 1,700 percent, reported The Intercept.“When ICE targets witnesses and victims for arrests, it deters noncitizens and immigrants from assisting in state and local law enforcement efforts or protecting their own rights in court. This is a disastrous and dangerous break from previous policy, and that’s why we are fighting to force them to end this practice,” said New York Attorney General Letitia James.Gonzalez said that “if there’s one thing I’ve learned in my career as a prosecutor, it’s that law enforcement can’t keep people safe without the participation of the communities we serve.“Over the past two years, numerous immigrant victims and witnesses have refused to come forward and assist in our prosecutions out of fear that they’ll be arrested in court by immigration agents, forcing my office to dismiss or reduce serious criminal cases,” he said.“The refusal by ICE to treat courthouses as sensitive locations regularly disrupts court operations, creates a chilling effect in immigrant communities and erodes public safety.Chief executive officer and Attorney-In-Chief of The Legal Aid Society, Janet Sabel noted that New York State is home to more than 4 million noncitizens who are vulnerable to deportation.“In order for our judicial system — a pillar of our democracy — to operate effectively, it is fundamental that they have equal access to courts,” she said.“ICE’s courthouse enforcement blatantly violates the constitutional rights of our clients, as well as all immigrant New Yorkers, and we look forward to addressing this injustice in court,” said.Jonathan I. Blackman, of the Manhattan-based Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP, said that ICE’s policy of arresting noncitizens at New York State courthouses has “impeded effective access to justice in our communities.In the lawsuit, James and Gonzalez argue that the ICE Courthouse Civil Arrest Directive implemented in 2018 violates the Administration Procedure Act and the US Constitution.
ELDORA — A federal judge says the Iowa Department of Human Services must stop using a physical restraint at the Boys State Training School in Eldora.The judge called the restraints a form of torture in a ruling on a case brought by former students at the facility who sued the state over the use of restraints and isolation, and a lack of mental health treatment. The judge is giving DHS 10 days to remove the restraint device called ‘the wrap.’The judge is allowing the use of solitary confinement, but only to stop residents from physically harming someone, not as a punishment. And the department is required to submit a plan for how it will improve mental health services and must appoint a monitor to oversee the changes.
0Shares0000“You don’t know what he said to me”: Juventus forward Douglas Costa was spitting mad with Sassuolo’s Federico Di Francesco © AFP/File / Marco BERTORELLOMILAN, Italy, Sep 18 – Juventus forward Douglas Costa has been banned for four matches for spitting in the face of Sassuolo winger Federico Di Francesco in last weekend’s Serie A game in Turin, the Italian FA announced on Tuesday.Costa was sent off after being caught by VAR aiming an elbow and headbutt before spitting in the face of Di Francesco, the son of Roma coach Eusebio Di Francesco, as the champions won 2-1 thanks to Cristiano Ronaldo’s first goals for the club. Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri said the club would not be appealing the ban.The 28-year-old was nevertheless selected in the squad for Wednesday’s Champions League opener against Valencia.“Douglas Costa surprised us, but he will prove that it was an isolated incident,” said Allegri at the pre-match press conference in Spain.“He lost it for a moment which can happen and he asked for forgiveness.“He will serve four games and we will not appeal.“It was a very unpleasant gesture, which surprised everyone, a very out of character gesture,” continued Allegri.“Tomorrow (Wednesday), I’ll decide if he’s going to be on the bench or if he’s in the team. I’m sorry because it was not the kind of behaviour to show children, but he’s the most disappointed with his attitude.”Di Francesco had earlier rubbished claims that he provoked the Brazilian with racist insults.Costa posted an apology to his teammates and fans on his Instagram account on Sunday, although he replied to one comment by saying that people did not know what Di Francesco had said to him.“You don’t know what he said to me. But no big deal… I say sorry to all those who I have to say it to, because I did wrong,” Costa wrote.And amid the speculation, the 24-year-old Di Francesco hit back at suggestions he had racially abused his rival.“I’m deeply troubled by the allegations and inventions that have appeared in some national media outlets,” Di Francesco said on Sassuolo’s Twitter account.“All of this is offensive and derogatory. I won’t allow any racist behaviour and/or phrases, which do not belong to my ethical values and are the fruit of other people’s imagination, to be attributed to me. I ask for and demand respect!”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)