We’ve just celebrated what is no doubt one of the strangest Palm Sundays in Church history—and we’re entering a Holy Week that is no less strange. But for many of us, this Holy Week feels more real than ever before.
In Holy Week, we’re called to unite our sufferings with the suffering and death of Our Lord on the Cross in order to fully appreciate the glory of the Resurrection. Our world these past few months has certainly undergone pain and suffering. From the pain of illness and financial instability to the emotional pain of isolation and missing the sacraments, we have truly been given our own crosses to bear.
How we see our cross all depends on whether we are able to see past fear of death to take hope in the Resurrection.
In his newest book, Hope to Die: The Christian Meaning of Death and the Resurrection of the Body, Scott Hahn picks up on this theme. He pulls from Scripture, the saints, and the wisdom of the Church to make clear one very important, but nearly forgotten, truth: we don’t have to dread the end of this earthly life. We don’t have to live in terror about what comes after we close our eyes for the last time.
The fear so many of us feel in the face of death is, of course, natural. We weren’t made for death. We were made for life. But Jesus came to release us from our fear of death. The loving obedience he offered on the Cross atoned for our sins and opened the gates to Heaven for all who follow him.
We’re called to hope in the God who took the single greatest evil ever perpetrated—the Crucifixion of Our Lord—and brought out of it the single greatest good the world has ever known: the redemption of humanity.
The clear message of Dr. Hahn’s new book is hope. If God can bring goodness and glory and beauty and life out of that kind of evil, he most certainly can bring goodness and glory and beauty and life out of the evil we presently face. Hope is what will sustain us in the days yet to come.
The fears of this world cannot rob us of the hope that fills us—the hope of eternal life, which we will celebrate this Easter.
While it will be an unusual Holy Week and Easter, we still have the opportunity to take part fully in Christ’s Passion, death, and Resurrection. We have the opportunity to offer our own sorrows in union with Christ’s and accept the grace of hope that Our Lord so abundantly offers us.
This is a message that you and those you love need to hear this Holy Week. Be prepared to witness to hope—read Dr. Hahn’s Hope to Die today. Preorder now and receive a free ebook so you can read it right away.
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In Hope to Die: The Christian Meaning of Death and the Resurrection of the Body, Scott Hahn explores the significance of death and burial from a Catholic perspective. The promise of the bodily resurrection brings into focus the need for the dignified care of our bodies at the hour of death. Unpacking both Scripture and Catholic teaching, Hope to Die reminds us that we are destined for glorification on the last day.