#1 The historical evidence for the life, death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus is solid.
Father Mark recommends The Case for Christ: A Journalist’s Personal Investigation of the Evidence for Jesus by Lee Strobel.
It’s the story of a lawyer, whose wife converted to Christianity and she was getting into her christian faith, and he was so frustrated he thought that her Christian faith was nonsense. She kept living and following her christian faith, and finally he decided as a lawyer to study the evidence to prove his wife that Christianity is nonsense. He began to do a little research and discovered there truly is a lot of evidence behind Christianity, so he actually converted himself.
#2 The beautiful, undeniable message of the Resurrection.
If we died with Christ, we’ll also live with Him. He rose so that we could live forever. A person may be somewhat self-interested even if someone offers you eternal life, heaven forever, a place where there’s no tears no pain.. why would you not want that? The message of the Resurrection is that by conquering death, Jesus opened the gates of heaven for us for all of eternity. What a beautiful message.
Father Mark says, “I want to spend eternity in heaven, oh I do, I love this life–having a grand old time, but i know that this life is short, and if there is a loving God who made us and has a place for us in His eternal home, you better believe I want to be there.”
#3 The Resurrection reveals to us as human beings, our identity, our dignity, and our destiny.
Jesus revealed to us as human beings, we have a spiritual dimension, and we’re not just of highly sophisticated organisms that one day are going to cease to be. Recent atheists have kind of lost sight of what is common sense to most, but we’re spiritual and we do have a wonderful dignity. We’re made to be Holy, and to be with the all-Holy God for all of eternity. That’s our identity, dignity and destiny.
The Resurrection is almost like the Lord saying, “hey let me show you, I’m going to die an awful death, I’m going to be buried in a tomb, and then I’m going to rise with a wonderful glorified body, and then raise up to heaven.. that’s a little demo for all of you.”
#4 Many people have encountered the risen Lord Jesus Christ.
When Father Mark was going through his conversion as a teenager, it hit him and he thought, “wait a minute, God is real”. He would meet people and they knew that, and they knew the Lord, and he thought, “wow, there’s people for whom religion just isn’t kind of a set of rituals that was handed down for the last generations, no they know the Lord, they’ve encountered Him, and He’s given them life and joy”. Father Mark realized people were given the gift of faith, even in places around the world where they are persecuted for it.
#5 Not only did the Lord Jesus rise from the dead, but He’s still alive and works His signs among us.
Father Mark sees little miracles happening around his Parish, St. Mary’s. There’s also plenty of different occurrences of Eucharistic Miracles with both scientific and medical evidence supporting them. Furthermore, we have had Marian apparitions and miraculous phenomena associated with Saints.