John 1:14

March 30 Christ has been raised from the Dead. We are Witnesses!

Filed under: Blog — admin at 8:32 am on Saturday, March 30, 2013

Easter Sunday 2013

On this first day of the week, we gather to recall the prophecy that Jesus himself foretold three times in St. Luke. Luke then reports in Acts that Peter testified to the truth of the Lord keeping his promise: the Son of man will be handed over by the Scribes and Pharisees, suffer and be killed and be raised on the third day. Today is the third day. Now is the appointed time and now is the day of salvation. The sins that have weighed us down and the reality of death that caused our souls to tremble has been lifted from the human race through the love of the Father which has raised Jesus from the dead.

Today we have been given again the great gift and a privilege that others have not yet accepted, but silently desire in their hearts, the gift of salvation, the gift of joy, the gift of becoming sons and daughters of God.  How did this gift come to us? This Easter Mass today tells us how we received this new life because we are asked to renew again something that we received long ago. It is the Sacrament of Baptism.

The one thing that brings us to this church today is the life of faith that our parent’s shared with us when we were infants or that we ourselves chose as adults at the invitation of Jesus Christ himself. With this action of Jesus Christ and the Church, we were washed clean of sin and anointed with the Holy Spirit so that we can be witnesses with St. Peter to what the power of faith in the living Jesus Christ can do to bring about joy and wisdom and strength in our lives and in the lives of those we touch.


Our Baptism may have been ten years ago or fifty years ago or just last night, but it is not ancient history. It is not something that has just happened in the past. When I ask you in a couple of minutes to renew the promises of your Baptism, your belief in the one God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, these are not just some words you are asked to respond to. Instead you are being asked to renew and affirm that your life has been consecrated by God through the Holy Spirit, that you rely on his mercy and love to get through each day and that the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ is the food and drink that helps you to live a virtuous fruitful life.

We need to renew our commitment to these divine mysteries not just on Easter, but every single day of our lives. We know that the world is a beautiful but treacherous place. The devil has put many traps in the way so that our culture and attitudes can be persuaded to put our faith on the back burner and live like everyone else, sometimes generous, but mostly selfish. Sometimes listening, but mostly talking. Sometimes thanking, but mostly demanding. Sometimes obeying, but mostly ignoring. We are told by people outside of the Church, especially the secular leaders and the media, that this is the most that can be demanded of us.

This solemn Feast we celebrate today tells us another story and a much deeper truth. Our lives are the product of a God who loves us unconditionally and sent his Son so that our sufferings would not be useless, but would lead to the fullest life. When Jesus took on our human nature at his birth, he witnessed himself that the world has burdens and that we must learn sacrifice and obedience to carry them. On our own, we would be lost. The burdens would be too heavy and the world too chaotic. So he gives us a share in his own life through this Sacrament of Baptism, in which we die to our sins so that we can live a blessed and joyful life is a rough and tumble world. We possess the Holy Spirit as the first fruits that make us able to love as Christ loves, a love unto death that purifies our hearts and souls of fear and envy and greed and show us how to express gratitude. It opens up for us a path to share God’s life in prayer and wonder.

Today the Church reminds us who we are and what we already possess and what we can further achieve with Jesus Christ if we simply use this faith not just once or twice a year or when things aren’t going our way, but every day. When you go home, find you baptismal garment and candle and take it out. Look at the pictures or video of that day and say to yourself: The day of my baptism was the day God changed my life forever. Thank you, Jesus, for this gift. Help me to be a living witness  to the gifts you continue to shower on me for my good and the good of everyone I meet. Alleluia.

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