Easter, Jesus, and A Holy Year in Rome

We experienced a wonderful Easter getting to have all the Von Dohlen clan together on Easter Saturday as Pat fed all 21.  The grandchildrens’ excitement was elevated by getting to enjoy a candy packed piñata finally opened by several of the older grandchildren for all to scramble for the candy.  It was a wonderful day as we remembered the Lenten journey and what Jesus did for each of us through His dying on the cross and rising from the dead so each of us could strive for eternal life with Jesus.  After all, we Catholics are the “Resurrection people.”

So much of Lent focuses on Jesus and our individual relationship with Him.  It is almost unbelievable that some in this confused world actually question whether Jesus truly lived.  Jesus’ life and death are documented facts in history.  It is not unusual that people often wonder what Jesus looked like.  During Lent, as we read Matthew Kelly’s book A Call to Joy, he shares a description of Jesus.  The following is a historical description of Jesus by Publius Lentulus, governor of Judea, addressed to Tiberius Caesar, emperor of Rome.  It was written in Aramaic on stone and found in an excavated city:

“There lives, at this time, in Judea, a man of singular virtue whose name is Jesus Christ, whom the barbarians esteem as a prophet, but his followers love and adore him as the offspring of the immortal God.  He calls back the dead from the graves, and heals all sorts of diseases with a word or a touch.

“He is a tall man, and well shaped, of an amiable and reverend aspect; his hair of a color that can hardly be matched, the color of chestnut full ripe, falling in waves about his shoulders.  His forehead high, large and imposing; his cheeks without spot or wrinkle, beautiful with lovely red; his nose and mouth formed with exquisite symmetry; his beard thick and of a color suitable to his hair, reaching below his chin.  His eyes bright blue, clear and serene, look innocent, dignified, manly and mature.  In proportion of his body, most perfect and captivating, his hands and arms most delectable to behold.

“He rebukes with majesty, counsels with mildness, his whole address, whether in work or in deed, being eloquent and grave.  No man has seen him laugh, yet his manner is exceedingly pleasant; but he has wept in the presence of men.  He is temperate, modest and wise; a man, for his extraordinary beauty and divine perfections, surpassing the children of men in every sense.”

How wonderful to help us visualize Jesus.  How wonderful to help us describe to others Jesus in his earthly appearance received from a person who did not understand His supernatural nature.

There is so much of our Christian faith that revolves around the Easter Season and that bring to us the richness of the Catholic faith through the institution of the Eucharist at the Last Supper which we have the opportunity to participate in ourselves each day of the year.

Pat and I left for Rome on April 20 to participate in the Holy Year designated by Pope Francis as the Jubilee Year of Mercy.

We are excited to be pilgrims traveling with two wonderful friends, Carole and Reid Carpenter.  We have prepared by reading our friend, Joan Lewis’ book entitled A Holy Year in Rome.  It is our goal to go through the Holy Door at each of the four papal basilicas – St. Peter’s, St. John in the Lateran, St. Mary Major and St. Paul Outside the Wall and the three additional churches considered part of a pilgrims itinerary St. Sebastian, Holy Cross in Jerusalem and St. Lawrence Outside the Walls.

Pope Francis said, “It is my wish that the Jubilee be a living experience of the closeness of the Father, whose tenderness is almost tangible, so that the faith of every believer may be strengthened and thus testimony to it be ever more effective.”

We are ready for the adventure and the opportunity to deepen and strengthen our faith.


Timothy Von Dohlen is the founder and president of the John Paul II Life Center and Vitae Clinic in Austin, Texas. (www.jpiilifecenter.org)  For a more robust bio, click here.  – www.catholicbusinessjournal.biz/content/tim-von-dohlen. He may be reached at Timothy@CatholicBusinessJournal.biz