Dead & Alive,Crucified & Resurrected ? Easter: Feast of Faith vs Reason! james kottoor

Dead & alive, crucified & resurrected?

Easter: feast of

faith vs reason!

The message is

      “Comfort the afflicted & Afflict the comfortable!”

 

  1. james kottoor

     Yes, the Man called Jesus was dead for sure, but still  alive? He was crucified undoubtedly, yet got resurrected? These are the nagging, conflicting questions, at least in the subconscience of most of the thinking sections of humanity as they are about to celebrate or commemorate the festival of Easter.

 

                      Time and tide wait for no man. The simple fact is that this inexorable flow of time came to be divided between BC and AD is proof enough that this young rebel and revolutionary, this fiery preacher, this crazy Christ, you may taunt him out of frustration, has established himself at the heart of time, nay made himself the fulcrum on which time and tide go about with their merry go round.

                                      Too young a leader?

                       You may both fault him and excuse him because he was an immature, inexperienced green horn in his 30s who could have been only be a beginner in the youth wing of today’s Congress party. Instead he took leadership role too young and “made a mess”(recall Pope Francis) by talking too much. So some well wishers must have even sighed saying: “if only he had kept his blessed mouth shut, like many of our revered  leaders, he could have lived a thousand years and not died so young.”

  But just because of  what he said and did, this youngster from Galilee had to die and get buried for sure. But the unexpected has happened. Today he is more alive than  the times 2000 years ago, when he trudged the length and breadth of Palestine  as a historical figure. If he was known  only in the Roman empire, when  alive, now he is known even in the utmost corners of the globe.

                         It is only very rarely that human beings outlive their mortal lives and continue to be a live wire in the minds and hearts of all humans. We have any number of them like Plato, Aristotel, Socretes, Caesar, Alexander,  Napoleon etc because of the spectacular things they did  during their lives. The crisp saying: Homo humus, fama fumus, finis chinis. (Man is mud(made of), fame is like smoke that fades fast and the end of man is ashes), was coined to apply to the generality of humans borne of man and woman.

                    But then, he was known to have been borne of a woman only, though unreasonable and unparallel in history and therefore hard to digest. Here begins the conflict of faith and reason at the very start of his life

                    Such persons without a known father are termed ‘bastards’. But none has ever come forward to cast that slur at him. Nay the credulous crowd shout in unison: “No one could accuse him of sin!” Famous people are famous because they are generally exceptions to the rule. Was he such a person?

                    But this man Jesus seems to outshine all past heroes of history because of the many claims he made and the various controvarsies  that surround him even now. In any case the first question is settled. A man called Jesus was a historic person for sure. He lived  2000 years ago and though not present physically in our midst, he continues to live in the minds of least some 2.5 crore Christians around the globe.

Crucified and Resurrected?

              The second question is: Crucified,  yet got resurrected? The answer to its first part also is  as clear as daylight, because it is in the annals of history which says: ‘He was crucified and buried but three days after his burial he disappeared from the tomb.’ Followers who believe in his divinity are adamant in their conviction, he rose from the dead. Others question it. There are also quasi historical stories in circulation that claim, he was revived after he was taken down from the cross, lived a hidden life, came to Kashmir and died there.

              Some Muslim community even today claim to possess his tomb there. There are also stories that during his life span between 12 and 30 he came to India, Thakshasila and Nalanda,  studied the Vedas and Hindu spirituality before starting his preaching mission at the age of 30. So there are controversies galore about his resurrection.

Major Question

                      Here comes now the  major question: how was he  known when alive and known today? As God incarnate or as Man everlasting? The secular man is led by his reason looking for scientific facts as proof, while the religious by one’s variety of faith in the unseen or unknown divine being beyond the reach of any empirical proof. That brings up the unending question of conflict: Faith or Reason? Or both and? Mankind, both believers and unbelievers are caught up with this question even now. There doesn’t seem to be any way out for both. So they settle themselves to tolerate each other as far as possible.

                     But the war of words continues between hard core believers in a man-made God, since God-made-God is an Oximoron, a non-sequitur, an impossibility, a contradiction. So no point in continuing this part of discussion – an exercise in futility — although it is still led by leaders in world religions like Christianity, Islam and Hinduism. Our only hope and prayer is that they desist from descending and degenerating into wars of deeds exterminating one another through crusades, jihard and Khar-vapsi.

                  As for believers in a God-made man Jesus and their opponents, who insist, he was a man-made God (Recall Vayalar: Man created religions and religions created Gods…etc.) it is and it will be a never ending battle of wits between Faith and reason. So it is pointless to continue it further either.

          Comforting the afflicted & afflicting the comfortable

                 But what is it that makes Jesus stand out as super human among all notables in the world? This top trait could differ from person to person and for good reason.  For this scribe it is the fact that he was the one who was the embodment of “Comforting the afflicted and afflicting the comfortable’’ – both to a fault — all through his known public life. Try as much as you can and you will never succeed to equal him in this art. Why? Because, he was described  as: “Sweet Jesus, meek and mild; equally as bitter Jesus rough and wild,” as place and persons demanded. He was the exemplar par excellence for harmonising these two conflicting  traits in himself to suit various occasions.

                        No need to recount all instances to prove it. Enough to recall all his works of mercy and compassion nutshelled in the phrase: “He went about doing good” befriending the poor — healing the sick, feeding the hungry and raising even the dead. Equally stricking was his act of cleansing the temple and railing against the “holier-than-thou” high priests and Pharisees of his time. Mathew 23 is the  shouting proof. These instances continue to make him a living legend dear to the minds and hearts of  both believers and unbelievers today.

                               Divisisve forces on the rise

                     As a result the world today is getting divided between divisive and unifying forces: between globalizers who bat for unity, universality, brotherhood and complimentarity through interdependence and cooperation led by a UN and forces of city-states batting for independent islands of affluence in a sea of misery with the  war cry “my country first, right of wrong” exemplified by Brexit and Donald Trump busy building walls and banning immigrants who do not suit his liking.

                  Incidently Jesus lived and died, not to divide but to unite the whole of humanity by the bonds of brotherhood under the fatherhood of God and to build a humane humanity presenting himself as the ideal ‘Son of Man’, 85 times in the Gospels, the ideal Man for all seasons, places and cultures. He was a Man who befriended all starting with the despised, outlawed, out casts, foreigners, broken hearted and marginalised Samaritans.

                 He founded no religion, made no priesthood, offered no sacrifice on any altar, except the great sacrifice of laying down his life for his friends. Recall his words in the Gethsemen: “If you are looking for me (Jesus of Nazareth) let these my friends go free.” He was born a Jew, lived as a Jew and died as a Jew.  “Jesus King of the Jews” was the inscription put on his cross. His followers came to  be called Christians only years later in Antioch. He never became a Christian, but remained a Jew, an ideal human  being “comforting the afflicted and afflicting the comfortable” class, especially the High priestly rulers of his times whom he labelled as “hypocrites, white washed sepulchres and brood of vipers,” without mincing words,

                 Therefore is not his life and message a renewed call today to dump all man-made organised religions (organised religions are for the organisers) in the dustbin of outdated history and begin anew to live as one united humane human family of brothers and sisters without any of the divisions  of colour, class, caste, creed and country? May that day dawn soon is our fervent prayer and the good wishes to all. CCV extends its Happy Easter of peace and joy to every one of our valued readers.

                   “Peace be to you” were the words Jesus reportedly told his apostles on his first appearance to them after resurrection. For this peace to  flourish divisive forces in every country should be shamed and defeated at all cost for comforting the little ones in need in our midst.              

              Contact at: jameskottoor@gmail.com;  Mob: 9446219203

                                                 *****************************************

Published in: CCV, Kerala, 15/4/17, Daily News, New York, 15th, Joychen Puthukulam, Chicago 15th,

 

 

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About The Voice Of Bombay's Catholic Laity

Bombay Laity Ezekiel’s Chapter 3 Task as Watchman 17 “Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the people of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me. 18 When I say to a wicked person, ‘You will surely die,’ and you do not warn them or speak out to dissuade them from their evil ways in order to save their life, that wicked person will die for[b] their sin, and I will hold you accountable for their blood. 19 But if you do warn the wicked person and they do not turn from their wickedness or from their evil ways, they will die for their sin; but you will have saved yourself.
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3 Responses to Dead & Alive,Crucified & Resurrected ? Easter: Feast of Faith vs Reason! james kottoor

  1. ralphcoelho says:

    I don’t understand what James us suggesting. His starting point of Faith vs reason is wrong because faith does not contradict reason though reason does not explain certain mysteries that faith offers us.
    If we are a community then we require a certain common belief, faith. If each one uses his or her reason then we have a Babel.
    Ralph

  2. James Kottoor says:

    Thank you and Happy Easter, Arcanjo, james

  3. Constance Rocker says:

    Apparently, you haven’t studied the Roman Catholic religion or the beginning of Christianity. He died as the second person in the Trinity and He knew who He was. He brought together twelve men called Apostles to preach His Gospel to the four corners of the earth. He gave them His Authority and proved Himself in so many ways. They set up a Church much like Moses sought good devout men to help him settle religious questions. He gave us deep inside ourselves the belief that there is someone greater than ourselves. During the last supper, He showed His Apostles what He wanted them to do and a Mass is celebrated around the world at every hour. Jesus and His Father sent us the Holy Spirit to begin and stay with Their Church. Some men of the Church have not practiced what He told us, but the Church has the full deposit of the Faith. All other Christian denominations are the result of others who made up their own doctrine until now many Christian churches have no meaning and are arbitrarily making up things like in a democracy. What God says in the past, now and the future remains always. I AM lives in the present. Our journey on earth is a test to get to the next life where we will be eternally in Heaven with Him (possibly a time in Purgatory to purge of us of our sins – maybe thousands of years depending upon the individual) or in Hell, the place first destined for the angels who followed Satan because of Pride. He said if you are my friend you will follow My commandments. Many even followed Him to death as martyrs. His Disciples such as St. Peter and Paul went everywhere to proclaim the Good News despite prison and hardship. His first disciples where with Him and gave up their lives to spread His message. He DID NOT leave us alone and groping our way. He gave us a blueprint and sacraments to give us life and to finally be with Him. Jesus died to open the gates of Heaven which were closed after the Fall! God is love!

    Everyone have a Happy and Blessed Easter!

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