The Lord Jesus Christ appeared to the Apostles after His Resurrection, the closed doors being no obstacle to His resurrected body. It was a real bodily appearance, since "a spirit does not have flesh and bones" (Lk.24:39), and they were able to observe for themselves the wounds in His hands and His side. Even the doubting Thomas, confronted by the evidence, makes his profession of faith: "My Lord and my God" (Jn.20:28).
We are not able to observe directly, as the Apostles and other disciples were, but in a time when we see many a doubting Thomas, our faith is strengthened by other witnesses, those who have themselves seen Him with the eyes of faith and are inspired to give witness to the truth, since, as today's Epistle confirms, "He who believes in the Son of God has the testimony of God in himself" (1 Jn. 5: 10).
On Monday of this week, after putting it off because of operations for cataracts in both eyes, I finally judged myself ready to see the movie, 'The Passion of The Christ'. I must confess that the tears began as soon as I saw the eye of Icon Productions, although during the movie they came not in floods but in manageable doses. Who could remain unmoved by such scenes - the brutal scourging, the flashbacks to the Last Supper, and the next to final scene, the riveting pieta?
But the controversy continues. There is a fierce struggle going on in which we are all involved, and the movie, while not the cause of the struggle, has brought it into sharp focus. A recent enlightening article refers to the struggle as "the battle for the Holocaust" (Christopher Manion, The Real Battle Over The Passion from April 10,2004).
Although a holocaust is a sacrifice offered to God which is wholly consumed on the altar, the world now understands the word "holocaust" as applying to the fate of the Jews who suffered under Hitler and the Nazis. If six million Jews died in the death camps under the Nazis we must have compassion for them, just as we have compassion for the 10 million Ukrainians who were starved to death by the Soviets in the 1930s, and the tens of millions of Christians and others who were liquidated by Stalin and other butchers of the previous Communist era in the Soviet Union.
But the Jews claim there is an essential difference between the deaths of the Jews and the deaths of the others. Why is the death of the Jews a uniquely horrible event, an unspeakable atrocity beyond all others throughout human history? Why will they not allow the term "holocaust" to be applied to the deaths of millions of innocent children who die in their mothers' wombs as victims of abortion? Why do we not see museums dedicated to the Ukrainians, or to the tens of millions of Christians and others who died in the Soviet Union? Where are the movies and documentaries? Why does not John Paul II invite their survivors to the Vatican for concerts dedicated to the memory of their loved ones, as he does the Jews in commemoration of the Holocaust?
The "why" is this: The Jews see themselves as the chosen people of God, with an exclusive relationship with Him through a still valid covenant. To strike at the Jews is to strike at God Himself. It's not simply genocide - the murdering of a people, but virtually deicide - the murder of God, for which Christians, and the Catholic Church in particular, must bear the guilt and offer atonement in perpetuity, without forgiveness. This is the myth of the Holocaust.
The Holocaust myth is now being challenged mightily by the movie 'The Passion of the Christ.' The Jews (and we do not speak of all Jews, but of many influential Jews such as Abe Foxman and the ADL, Rabbi Schmuley Boteach and Rabbi Marvin Hier of the Simon Wiesenthal Museum, and those who have control of the media) had almost succeeded in blotting out the name of Jesus from the consciousness of the people. The public had been carefully programmed through a relentless round of movies, documentaries and books, so as to have the guilt of the Holocaust constantly in mind. 'Schindler's List' and the abominable book "Hitler's Pope" in so demeaning and desecrating Pius XII's good name, are perfect examples of this. They had turned the tables on us. Rather than the Jews being reputedly responsible for the death of Jesus Christ, we now had Christians, especially the Roman Catholic Church, bearing the guilt for the Holocaust.
But with one fell swoop, this marvelous movie struck a nearly fatal blow to their carefully executed plan of convincing the world that the Holocaust is the pivotal event, the defining moment in human history, thus displacing the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ from that exalted position. This is the real explanation for their rage against Christ, and against this movie. They are afraid that Christians will begin to realize once again that the true Holocaust, the one perfect and acceptable sacrifice to God our Father, took place two thousand years ago on Calvary's hill, when Jesus Christ shed His Precious Blood for the sins of the world. All human beings, whether Jews or Gentiles, of every place and of every time, must go to the foot of the Cross of Jesus and acknowledge Him as the Messiah, if they are to be saved.
The Holocaust myth and the Sacrifice of Christ on Calvary are unalterably opposed to one another. If the Sacrifice of Christ on the Cross is the one perfect Sacrifice acceptable to God, the true Holocaust, and the one defining moment in human history, the Jewish Holocaust cannot be the unique event they claim it to be. It was a terrible atrocity, a great human tragedy, but not a perfect sacrifice offered to God; it was not redemptive; it cannot save anyone; it was not a holocaust, certainly not The Holocaust.
But even the Vatican II church cooperates, resulting in its own demolition. John Paul II has apologized to the Jews for the sins of Christians against them, and has absolved them from the necessity of believing in Jesus Christ. Much was made of his "historic" trip to Jerusalem where his visit to the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial Museum was celebrated by the media. "The awful truth is this--that John Paul II and the New Vatican accept the myth of the Holocaust, thus denying the uniqueness and efficacy of the Sacrifice of Christ on Calvary, and of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass."
Yet the perfect Holocaust of Jesus Christ is still offered where faithful Catholics gather to offer the true Mass, the re-presentation of the Sacrifice of Calvary. The only way to God the Father is through Jesus Christ His Son, Who is both Priest and Victim in this one perfect offering. The Mass is at the center of the world. It gives meaning to our lives and brings us closer to God. Without this true Holocaust, the human struggle ends in futility and final ruin. No wonder the powers of darkness want to destroy the Mass.
We find ourselves at the center. In celebrating the Traditional Mass of the Latin Rite unchanged by the Vatican II reformers we are the defenders of the Faith, God's stronghold against the gates of Hell, as long as we remain true to this, our appointed task. But "Do not be afraid, little flock, for it has pleased your Father to give you the Kingdom" (Luke 12:32).
For the Low Sunday Proper for the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, see Quasi modo