And "on the third day"...

Here is how Augustine, in one of his explanations of the Creed, went on to the next article:The one who was crucified under Pontius Pilate and was buried rose from the dead on the third day. Perhaps here too you have doubts, fears. When you were told to believe in the one who was born, who suffered, who was crucified, who died and was buried, it was easy enough for you to believe all this about a man; but now that youre told that on the third day he rose again, you have doubts. Let me offer one argument out of many: Consider God; think about the Almighty, and dont doubt. For if God, when you did not exist, could make you out of nothing, why could he not rouse from the dead his own man, whom he had already made? This faith alone it is that distinguishes and separates Christians from other human beings. That Christ died and was buried even pagans believe today and Jews witnessed then; but that on the third day he rose from the dead neither a pagan nor a Jew admits. The resurrection of the dead, then, is what distinguishes our living faith from the unbelieving dead. For Paul the Apostle wrote to Timothy: Remember that Jesus Christ has risen from the dead (2 Tim 2:8). Let us believe, then, and let us hope that what we believe happened in Christ will happen in us. For the God who promises does not deceive. (Augustine, Sermon 215, 6; PL 38, 1075)

Rev. Joseph A. Komonchak, professor emeritus of the School of Theology and Religious Studies at the Catholic University of America, is a retired priest of the Archdiocese of New York.

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