How often have you heard … “But in the real world…? “ “That’s fine in theory… but in the real world…?”

How many times have you said that to someone? Or how many times has someone said that to you?  In either case… probably more than you care to remember.

Sometimes it is said in sarcasm. At other times it serves to demolish something another has said.

In this Vincentian Mindwalk let’s explore the “real world” of Good Friday… Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday. How does Jesus’ resurrection open up the doors to a real world that goes beyond our limited versions of “the real world.”

A Good Friday world of suffering

On the first Good Friday, the followers of Jesus were thrown into utter confusion. They faced dashed hopes! They thought he was going to make their world into a real world as they imagined it. Now he was dead!

Talk about being plunged into a real world they never dreamed of!

Today, the real world of suffering is a reality beyond anything we have dreamed of. And who among us is not suffering? The sufferings of the body of Christ today are very real.

There are the sufferings that make our daily national headlines. Other sufferings stalk just beneath the surface.  In our personal and family lives, we face the suffering of dashed hopes, chronic illness, addiction, lack of a job or other opportunities, etc. They pale before the death or even suffering of someone we love.

We try to escape that reality in so many ways. Classically they are all variations of “fight” or “flight.”

A Holy Saturday world without the presence of Jesus

On that first Holy Saturday, they now found themselves in a world without Jesus and hope. They thought they had nothing… no hope, and no one to rely on.

But how different is that from the multitudes today who live with despair and confusion?

We live in a secular throw-away society. Growing numbers deal with the loss of what gave them meaning and a reason for living. It is a world without the glimmer of hope Jesus brought.

More delicately … how often do we feel we are in a world where God is dead and the bliss of eternity does not seem very real?

The challenge of becoming Easter People

Easter people are filled with hope in THE “real world.”

They are not spared pain and confusion. Easter people believe Jesus’ resurrection opens the window to THE real world.

Easter people have learned to recognize the unexpected presence of Jesus in their daily lives. Recognizing these encounters gives them life and hope.

Jesus’ resurrection proved there was much more to the real world than they had dreamed.

Initially, they did not believe. Just ask the women who tried to tell them. When Jesus showed them his wounds they began to believe. Figuratively they kept rubbing their eyes, “Is this real?”

The Acts of the Apostle tell us of their struggles.

Some pivotal moments are recorded in the stories of the two Apostles on the road to Emmaus, a persecutor hunting Christians on the road to Damascus, in a synodal experience of listening to one another and the Spirit in the Council of Jerusalem.

Do we believe in the reality of a world proved in the resurrection and accept it takes time to recognize that world is here and now… and fulfilled in the really real world of eternity?

What holds you back from living in the “real world” of Easter people?

(To be continued Easter Monday!)