Easter Sunday of the Resurrection of our Lord – April 16, 2017
By Father Peter Richards
Shortly after I was ordained to the priesthood, I remember visiting a brother priest’s parish and he showed me his office. I expected one of the things that I saw on the wall – a picture of the Archbishop laying hands on him ordaining him. Above that picture was a framed copy of his baptismal certificate. When I looked at it, he said that was the more important sacrament. It was the beginning of his resurrection with his Lord Jesus Christ, the beginning of being a disciple of Jesus Christ. It was when the life of God, eternal life, started in him. Since then, I have a copy of my baptismal certificate in my office above my ordination picture.
Many of us are baptized as infants and our parents profess our faith in Jesus Christ for us. In other words, they make our baptismal promises for us. It is not until we ratify our Baptism by our own conscious decision to allow the Lord to penetrate our hearts with his Truth, Beauty, and Goodness in a personal encounter with him, that we beginning to be disciples of Jesus Christ. It is not that we aren’t still influenced by our parent’s witness of their relationship to Jesus Christ in the Catholic Church, but our relationship to the Lord takes on a different character.
Being a disciple of our Lord Jesus is in constant need of renewal because it is so easy to just get in a routine and live a separate life from my “Church” life. Primarily, it is during the Easter Season, after a Lent of renewal, that we renew our baptismal promises as a people and individually to the Lord in response to his gift of Love to us in his Son Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit.
I hope that you experience the fruits of that renewal throughout this Easter Season and an awakened awareness of the working of the Holy Spirit in your life.
St. Paul says, “12 Now if Christ is preached as raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised; 14 if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. 15 We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified of God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised. 16 For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised. 17 If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. 19 If for this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are of all men most to be pitied.
20 But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. 23 But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ.” (1 Corinthians (RSV) 15)
We hope in Jesus Christ for this life and the next. Keep up the good fight of faith brothers and sisters and have a great Easter Week! Fr. Richards