Preaching the Resurrection. The early Church

Frank J. Matera

This article focuses on the challenges that the early Church faced as it witnessed to the Resurrection and how it responded to those challenges. It addresses the challenges we face today when we preach the Resurrection and suggests some ways we can respond to them. Frank J. Matera is Professor Emeritus of the Catholic University of America.

The risen Christ summarizes the mission of his Church when he says to his Apostles: ‘But you will receive the power of the Holy Spirit which will come on you, and then you will be my witnesses not only in Jerusalem but throughout Judea and Samaria, and indeed to earth’s remotest end.’ (Acts 1.8). Empowered by God’s Spirit, the apostles are to testify to the Resurrection. They are to witness by what they say and do, by their preaching and by their lives that Jesus has entered into a new kind of life, the very life of God, that we call resurrection life. The Acts of the Apostles is the story of their powerful witness, which summarizes their preaching and the new way they lived because they believed in the resurrection of their Lord, which became the basis for their own hope in resurrection life.

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