By Peter Lumaj
Roman Catholics from Albania to USA are celebrating the most significant Holy Day of their faith. This is the day when their Lord Jesus Christ is resurrected from death. This is their Lord’s day, when they celebrate the greatest victory of all time, the victory over death.
When Christ was crucified upon the cross He gave up His life through the separation of His body and spirit. Three days later Jesus Christ was resurrected- His spirit returned to His body. Christ’s crucifixion, death, and resurrection are all major parts of the Atonement and are what Christians remember and celebrate at Easter. The day Jesus was resurrected was the first Easter.
Easter is a day of celebration because it represents the fulfillment of Christians’ faith. St. Paul wrote that, unless Christ rose from the dead, our faith is in vain (1 Corinthians 15:17). Through his death, Christ saved mankind from bondage to sin, and He destroyed the hold that death has on all of us; but it is His Resurrection that gives us the promise of new life, both in this world and the next.
The New Testament teaches that the resurrection of Jesus is a foundation of the Christian faith. The resurrection established Jesus as the powerful Son of God and is cited as proof that God will judge the world in righteousness. God has given Christians “a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead”. Christians, through faith in the working of God are spiritually resurrected with Jesus so that they may walk in a new way of life.
Christianity began as a Jewish sect arising out of the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth. The life of Jesus is recounted in the New Testament of the Bible, one of the bedrock texts of Western Civilization and inspiration for countless works of Western art.
Since the resurrection of Jesus Christ, the role of the Catholic Church in Western civilization has been intricately intertwined with the history and formation of Western society. Through its long history, the church has been a major source of social services like schooling and medical care; inspiration for Western art, culture and philosophy; and influential player in politics and religion. In various ways it has sought to affect Western attitudes to vice and virtue in diverse fields. It has, over many centuries, promulgated the teachings of Jesus within the Western World and remains a source of continuity linking modern Western culture to classical Western culture.
Catholicism took the leading role in ending practices such as human sacrifice, slavery, infanticide and polygamy. Christianity in general affected the status of women by condemning, infanticide, divorce, incest, polygamy, birth control, abortion and marital infidelity.