Okay, so when the conversation turns to the greatest soccer player today, I always say Lionel Messi, not Cristiano Ronaldo. But, I have to confess, Ronaldo’s goal against Juventus in the Champions League yesterday was extraordinary. There are so many astonishing things about this bicycle kick (e.g., he strikes the ball at least seven feet in the air), but here I want to focus on the reactions. Check out Juventus defender Andrea Barzagli shrugging his shoulders in disbelief, Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane putting his hands to his head, and, perhaps most strikingly, the opposing fans in the Juventus stadium rising up to give Ronaldo a standing ovation. The beauty of the goal seems to draw forth these responses of amazement and appreciation even from the opposing players and fans.
I suspect there is some type of analogy to be made to our responses to the Easter message. I haven’t really thought it through yet. But, I think it fair to say, that people spend a good deal of time talking about the truth of the resurrection. And people also spend a lot of time talking about the meaning of the resurrection, especially the meaning it ought to have in our lives. I wonder if we ought also to talk about the beauty of the resurrection and how we might respond to the triumph of beauty in Easter.