Happy Easter

Today is Easter Monday (and a public holiday) in Oz so it’s still not too late to greet everybody (or at least every Christian) out there a Happy Easter.

Yesterday, we heard the 5:30 afternoon Easter Mass at St Mary’s Parish here at St Kilda East conducted by, I think, Father Barry Moran. I definitely have to get the name of that parish priest. He’s all right and doesn’t make attending mass such a chore.

St Mary’s Parish in East St Kilda

Anyway, he didn’t start the Mass right away, yesterday. There were only maybe only twenty to thirty of us attendees inside the church at the time and we were mostly sitting scattered at the back of the church. He urged everybody to sit near the front so that he can see everybody at least (and probably to make it feel like there were more of us in there).

During the Homily, he mentioned that he read an article from a newspaper (I can’t remember now whether it was The Herald Sun or The Age) about the lack of Sunday church-goers in Australia today. I recall the figures he quoted correctly, there are something like 1.5 million people going to church on Sundays. Of the 1.5 million people, 700-something thousand are Catholics. I found this fact rather sad.

My theory behind this is that in countries that are more progressive and more affluent, people find little room for faith. They’re not going to church yet they’re lives still seem okay, after all. Another factor behind the continuing decrease of church-goers, I think, is because of all the bad press and misinformation the Christian faith is receiving nowadays, from the child-molesting priests to the Da Vinci Code novel by Dan Brown.

Fr Barry continued his homily by asking us whether we think the crucifixion was historic fact or not. Of course, it was a fact as a lot of respectable historians would attest to. Then he aske whether the resurrection was historic fact or not. He said that it is unfortunately not. I wasn’t really surprised as I like reading about theological themes in my pastime. In fact, the story of Jesus’s resurrection was only spread by witnesses to the event (Jesus’s disciples and followers).

Of course, not everybody nowadays believe that Jesus actually died and was resurrected, Fr Barry continued. There were other theories such as Christ didn’t really die on the cross but was only unconscious and that he was never really buried. He was able to live a full life and so forth. Another theory was that he was taken by the Essenes (a Jewish orthodox sect believed by many to be the precursors to early day Christians) and taken to Qumran (near where the Dead Sea scrolls were found). There was another one he mentioned but I forgot now.

The point he was trying to make is that nowadays, people are more willing to believe that Jesus is just another philosopher/teacher like Buddha than as a Son of God who died on the Cross for our sins and was resurrected. And some of these people actually call themselves Christians. If you do not believe about Jesus being the Messiah, the Christ, then why do you even call yourself a Christian? I don’t get that myself.

Anyway, I liked a priest who was actually aware of all these other ideas people had about Christianity and its history. In my book, it’s good to know about these other heretical ideas so that when I’m confronted by somebody trying to push this alternative view about Christianity on me, I won’t be caught off guard. It also made me think that I actually knew all the theories presented by Fr Barry during the sermon.

It made me think that maybe I should do more in terms of evangelising others. In the past, I’ve researched a lot about these alternative ideas and the counterproofs against them. I have some skills and resources available to me to help me send out messages to the public. It’s time I do more.

Published in: on March 28, 2005 at 6:21 pm  Leave a Comment  

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