all or nothing
"If the dead are not raised, then Christ was not raised; and if Christ was not raised, your faith is worthless." —1 Corinthians 15:16-17
Some Corinthians thought they could believe in Jesus' resurrection without believing in our resurrection (1 Cor 15:12). Paul insisted that they both go together. He said: "If there is no resurrection of the dead, Christ Himself has not been raised" (1 Cor 15:13). In fact, the Christian faith is interwoven in such a way that, if you pull out the resurrection of believers, its foundation unravels. If we are not to be raised, then Christ was not raised, and "our preaching is void of content and your faith is empty too. Indeed, we should then be exposed as false witnesses of God" (1 Cor 15:14-15). We are still in our "sins, and those who have fallen asleep in Christ are the deadest of the dead. If our hopes in Christ are limited to this life only, we are the most pitiable of men" (1 Cor 15:17-19).
"Cafeteria Catholics," who pick certain revelations to believe and others not to believe, may be picking the faith apart. Their self-made religion can leave them still in their sins and "the most pitiable of men," who may be "the deadest of the dead." Accept Christianity on Jesus' terms and in fullness. Anything else is ludicrous and self-destructive.
Prayer: Father, may I live "the whole thing."
Promise: "I in justice shall behold Your face; on waking, I shall be content in Your presence." —Ps 17:15
Praise: St. Andrew Kim, a Korean priest who was beheaded for his courageous faith, wrote: "Persecution, therefore, can only be regarded as the command of the Lord or as a prize He gives or as a punishment He permits."
Nihil Obstat: Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, February 7, 2002
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 12, 2002