Responding to the Jesus Tomb

So how do we respond to a student who asks, “I heard that they found the tomb of Jesus [link to news story no longer available] and his family…could that be true?”

I believe there is only one way to answer: “No…it’s impossible because Jesus is Risen! You and I both have enountered him and he’s very much alive!”

Our faith is grounded in the Resurrection of Jesus, not just as an historical event, but as a present reality…we encounter the Risen Christ today and everyday! Let’s not get bogged down in trying to respond to the claims of this obvious grab for money. Let’s not spend time trying to become mini-archaeologists, mini-historians, and mini-Bible scholars (although becoming mini-Bible scholars is not a bad idea for catechists!), trying to debunk the claims being made by getting into trivial debates. (For an informed debunking of the claims, see Ben Witherington’s blog) The answer is simple and you and I know it: Jesus is Risen. End of argument!

On a totally unrelated subject, I just wanted to share this very nice e-mail with you from a catechist named Betty in New York:

I have been teaching Religious Ed in my parish for about 23 years now.  I teach 2nd grade…communion preparation and I love it!   I have been doing this grade for about 8 years now. Before that I taught 1st, 3rd, 4th and 5th grades. It is a great deal of work, and sometimes I think about “retiring” but I think I would miss it!  

I will definitely be visiting your site again…I think I will be able to get some good tips and information from it…so thank you for doing this!  I think I’ll also pass it on to our DRE so that other catechists in our parish can benefit.  We have a large parish in Mahopac, New York with many kids in our program.  I’m just a little fish in a really big pond!  I only have 8 children in my class, but having such a small class allows me to do more fun things with them.  At our last class, we “traveled” to Bethlehem, Nazareth, Jerusalem and Galilee.  I made each of the children a “passport” and I glued in information about Jesus (His birth, early life, His ministry, and then His death and resurrection)…then the children glued in pictures I had gotten off the internet to go with each story.  I brought in costumes I borrowed so that they could all dress in robes and my husband made an arch out of wood so that as we went from “city to city” we walked through the arch.  It was fun and I think it brings Jesus “to life” for the kids.  

Thanks again for your ministry.  Continued good luck with your work. 


About Joe Paprocki 2769 Articles
Joe Paprocki, DMin, is National Consultant for Faith Formation at Loyola Press, where, in addition to his traveling/speaking responsibilities, he works on the development team for faith formation curriculum resources including Finding God: Our Response to God’s Gifts and God’s Gift: Reconciliation and Eucharist. Joe has more than 35 years of experience in ministry and has presented keynotes, presentations, and workshops in more than 100 dioceses in North America. Joe is a frequent presenter at national conferences including the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress, the Mid-Atlantic Congress, and the National Conference for Catechetical Leadership. He is the author of numerous books, including the best seller The Catechist’s Toolbox, A Church on the Move, Under the Influence of Jesus, and Called to Be Catholic—a bilingual, foundational supplemental program that helps young people know their faith and grow in their relationship with God. Joe is also the series editor for the Effective Catechetical Leader and blogs about his experiences in faith formation at

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