Ave Maria Meditations
And behold I Am with you all days until the consummation of the world. (Mt. 28:20)
If we have at length interpreted the connection between Supper and Cross, we have in fact all the time been speaking also of the Resurrection. Not only are Supper and Cross inseparable: Supper, Cross and Resurrection form the one indivisible Paschal Mystery. The theology of the Cross is the Resurrection; therefore the Resurrection is the divine response and the divine interpretation of the Cross. The theology of the Cross is a paschal theology, a theology of joyous victory even in this valley of tears.
We have shown that the Last Supper was the anticipation of the violent death of Jesus, and that the Cross without the Supper, the Supper without the reality of the Cross, would remain void. Now we have to add that the Last Supper also anticipates the Resurrection, the certainty that love is stronger than death. This act of love to the last is the transubstantiation of death, its radical transformation, the power of the Resurrection already present in the shadow of death.
The Supper without the Cross, the Cross without the Supper, would be void, but the two without the Resurrection would be the wreck of hope. The image of the pierced side, fount of water and blood, is also the image of the Resurrection, of love stronger than death. In the Eucharist we receive this love – we receive the medicine of immortality. The Eucharist guides us to the fount of true life, of invincible life, and shows us where and how true life is to be found – not in riches and possessions, not in having. Only if we follow Jesus on the way of his Cross, do we find ourselves on the road to life.
The Resurrection of Jesus says that this victory is in effect possible, that death does not belong principally and irrevocably to the structure of the creature, to matter. Certainly it also says that to overcome the confines of death is not possible, definitively, by sophisticated clinical methods, through technology. This comes about through the creative power of the word and of love. Only these powers are sufficiently strong to modify so fundamentally the structure of matter, to make it possible to overcome the barrier of death.Hence in the extraordinary promise of this event there is also found an extraordinary call, a vocation, a whole interpretation of human existence and the existence of the world. But especially, it becomes manifest in this way that faith in the Resurrection of Jesus is a profession of the real existence of God and a profession of his creation, of the unconditional “Yes” with which God stands before creation, before matter. The word of God truly penetrates to the heart of the body. His power does not end at the confines of matter. It embraces everything. And therefore also responsibility before this word certainly permeates matter and the body, and is there affirmed.
Quite definitely, this is what faith in the Resurrection is concerned with: the real power of God, and the importance of human responsibility. That the power of God is hope and joy: this is the liberation revealed at Easter. In the Pasch, God reveals himself, his power – superior to the power of death – the power of the love of the Trinity. So the paschal revelation gives us the right to sing “Alleluia” in a world overcast with the cloud of death.
Pope Benedict XVI (Journey to Easter)