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The Easter Explosion


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First Things

George Weigel

3 . 31 . 21

Let me adapt to recent circumstances a thought-experiment theologian Hans Urs von Balthasar proposed decades ago:

Imagine that a friend contracts a severe case of COVID-19 and medicine can do no more for him. The doctors inform his widowed mother and us, so we gather with her for the final scene in the drama of this life. The ventilator is removed; the man grows weaker from lack of breath and whispers his final farewells. We hear the death-rattle. Then he expires and takes on the pallor of death.

The mortician prepares the body for burial. With appropriate prayers, we consign our friend to the earth and, taking a cue from our Jewish friends, toss a clod of earth onto his coffin as it lies deep in the open grave. The grave is then closed and we leave for our homes, saddened, perhaps a bit disoriented, remembering our friend’s past and unsure about our own futures.

Then two days later, our friend suddenly stands before us, like one just returned from a brief but important journey. He greets us by name. Physical barriers like doors mean nothing to him.

What would happen to us?



What Indeed Would Happen To Us?

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