124. Finally, there is a third truth, inseparable from the second: Christ is alive! We need to keep reminding ourselves of this, because we can risk seeing Jesus Christ simply as a fine model from the distant past, as a memory, as someone who saved us two thousand years ago. But that would be of no use to us: it would leave us unchanged, it would not set us free. The one who fills us with his grace, the one who liberates us, transforms us, heals and consoles us is someone fully alive. He is the Christ, risen from the dead, filled with supernatural life and energy, and robed in boundless light. That is why Saint Paul could say: “If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile” (1 Cor 15:7).
The essence of the Christian difference: the experience of Christ being alive. It is possible to respect and follow Jesus as a teacher and even a healer. That is a pre-Resurrection faith. One can adhere to his prescriptions for life and be ethical and moral. Many non-Christians do so, and they do it without direct knowledge of Jesus. But Jesus alive is what makes the Christian experience what it is for us: personal, grace-filled, and full of surprises.
Remember to check Pope Francis’ Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation on this link at the Vatican site.
The text in color is © Copyright – Libreria Editrice Vaticana