Last year 40,000 adults were baptized into the Catholic church. 66,000 were received into full communion with the Catholic church. I wonder how many of these people realized that they were joining a revolutionary movement.
A young medical student in Cuba said: I could be interested in Christianity only if it were a revolutionary movement.
What is a revolutionary movement? A revolution is described as a sudden and momentous event that brings about a change in the major part of the population.
On Easter Sunday almost 2,000 years ago, history recorded a sudden and momentous event. A man who was dead walked away from his own grave. A man who was dead walked out of the cemetery on his own power. No one in the history of the world had ever done that before. No one has ever done it since. The resurrection of Jesus from the dead was a momentous event. We call it the Easter revolution.
In his book, the rise of Christianity, Rodney Stark calculates that Christians grew in numbers from roughly 1,000 in a.d. 40 to nearly 34 million in the year 350 A.D. by the fourth century Christians were over 50% of the population. The power of the spirit of the risen Jesus propelled the Easter revolution into the boundaries of the Roman Empire. It changed the worldview of a major part of the population.
When Jesus walked out of the cemetery and met the young disciples in the countryside and along the seashore something happened to them. All of a sudden it dawned on them that they were in the middle of a revolution.
This revolution was not like the communist revolution or the socialist revolution that enslaved and murdered 100 million people. This revolution was not like the french revolution that went mad with hate. A hate that destroyed institutions and murdered leaders at every level of society.
In the Jesus revolution only one man shed his blood. That man was the son of God. In the Jesus revolution that man shed his blood to bring life not death to the human race. The dynamic of that revolution was love not hate.
The resurrection of Jesus Christ was a stunning event. The apostles were so excited about it that they carried that news throughout Judea, to Asia minor and across the Mediterranean to Rome and Greece
The love in their hearts and the fire in their blood led them all to a willing martyrdom for the sake of the revolution and the kingdom.
Before a single gospel was written a revolutionary movement was well on its way.
In the year 150 the historian Tertullian could say to the empire: we are in your towns. We are in your villages. We infest your islands. We are in your senate. We are in the forum. We are in your market places. We are a majority in your cities. We are a force to contend with.
Notice that Tertullian is describing a visible, breathing church organized by Jesus around the successors of peter and the apostles. When someone says to you: “You don’t need the church to be saved you only need the bible,” they know nothing of history.
The bible was not available in printed form until the printing press was invented in the year 1450.
Who delivered the good news that Jesus is alive to the people during that 1400 years? It was a living breathing church that spread the news through homilies, catechetical instruction, stained glass windows and works of charity.
St. Ignatius of Antioch in the year 110 described that church just as it is structured today with the hierarchy of pope, bishops, priests and deacons working in union with the religious and laity for the building up of the kingdom. If you read Ignatius of Antioch in the year 110, you will recognize the Catholic church of the twenty-first century.
The Jesus revolution is still a dynamic movement today. In California Catholic answers is training a whole group of new converts to spread the good news that Jesus Christ is alive.
Jesus is alive today in the church. He is still teaching the sermon on the mount and the law of love. He is still the champion of good moral living. He is still defending freedom.
He is still healing people and raising them up from fear and despair. He is still being crucified.
He is in our parishes. He is in the Eucharist. He is in the seven sacraments. He is in the missions. He is in our schools and universities. He is in our hospitals and nursing homes. He is in the streets of our inner cities through the friars of the renewal. He is in our aids clinics.
Che Guevara a revolutionary I n Cuba said I am not interested in a revolution unless it changes a person from within. He’s talking about the heart. No leader has changed the hearts of men and women so radically as Jesus Christ.
Jesus is alive. He is reaching out to young people who are being seduced by the illusions of new age religions. He is reaching out to young people all over the world who are arriving in the millions for world youth day with the holy father. 400 million people showed up to youth day in the Philippines.
Jesus is alive was the battlecry of young people like Andrew James John Thomas James Phillip Bartholomew; Peter And Paul, Ambrose and Augustine.
Jesus is alive was the battle cry of small armies that rose up everywhere—the Benedictines—the Augustinians--the Franciscans—the Dominicans--the Jesuits—the Vincentians-- the Silesians-- the Daughters of Charity—the Sisters of St. Joseph, the Sisters of Mercy. The Dominican sisters and the Sisters of Life.
These are the armies of teachers and healers in the church. They are carrying the revolution forward. These revolutionaries speak to people’s hearts. They change people from within.
The worldview of Jesus Christ is the only solution to the mess the world is in today.
Isis the Islamic state released online images on March 16, showing militants destroying churches in northern iraq with sledgehammers. Other pictures show fighters removing crosses and bells from the tops of churches and replacing them with the black jihadist flag. Little children were beheaded in syria.
Malcom Muggeridge was an English journalist and convert to the Catholic faith. Looking over the twentieth century he said: In one life time I have seen empires rising and falling, revolutions and counterrevolutions, wealth accumulating and then disbursed, one nation dominant and then another.
In one lifetime I have seen my own countrymen ruling over a quarter of the world.
I’ve heard a crazed, Austrian proclaim to the world the establishment of a German Reich that would last for a thousand years; an Italian dictator announce he would restart the calendar to begin with his own assumption of power; a murderous Georgian brigand in the kremlin acclaimed by the intellectual elite of the western world as wiser than Solomon.
I’ve seen America wealthier and in terms of military weaponry more powerful than all the rest of the world put together, so that Americans, had they so wished, could have outdone an alexander or a Julius Caesar in the range and scale of their conquests.
All in one little lifetime. All gone with the wind.
The British empire is no more. Hitler is dead, Mussolini is dead, and Stalin is dead.
America haunted with troubled memories of a disastrous campaign in Vietnam.
All in one lifetime, all in one lifetime, all gone. Gone with the wind.
Behind the debris of these defeated revolutionaries there stands the gigantic figure of Jesus Christ. He alone is risen from the dead. He alone is still the way and the truth and the life. His church is 2000 years older than any government in the world. Through him and in him and by him alone mankind may still have peace. Happy Easter.