Dead to Sin and Living For God

Alleluia!

I sit here this morning still in the glow of last night’s Easter Vigil at Our Lady of Lourdes.  From the prayers at the fire outside of the Church, where we began our celebration, to the final sending forth, it was blessed time.

I do many things, but one of the things I love most is proclaiming the Word, and I was privileged to be one of the readers last night.  What was most powerful to me (I also read the Exodus story) was the reading from Paul’s Letter to the Romans, the opening and closing of which read:

Are you unaware that we who were baptized into Christ Jesus
were baptized into his death?
We were indeed buried with him through baptism into death,
so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead
by the glory of the Father,
we too might live in newness of life….

We know that Christ, raised from the dead, dies no more;
death no longer has power over him.
As to his death, he died to sin once and for all;
as to his life, he lives for God.
Consequently, you too must think of yourselves as being dead to sin
and living for God in Christ Jesus.

“Consequently, you too must think of yourselves as being dead to sin and living for God in Christ Jesus.”  That is our charge.

We do not today merely celebrate an event that happened long ago.  The Resurrection has consequences for how we live our lives.

Today’s Easter message from the President of the University of St. Thomas sounded a similar theme.  Dr. Julie Sullivan wrote

Easter is not for spectators. As Jesus washed the feet of his disciples, we are called to reach out to our neighbor with loving deeds of service. As Jesus gave his life on the cross so that others may live, we are called to give our lives to improving our world and the lives of others.  As Jesus brought joy to the world by rising and giving us the hope of everlasting life, so we are meant to share Christ’s joy with our families, neighbors, colleagues, and all those we encounter.

Dr. Sullivan referenced the University’s recommitment to ensuring that our educational mission is accomplished “all for the common good.”  But she reminds us “a slogan rings hollow unless we constantly use it to assess and measure our actions.”

“Easter is not for spectators.”  If we limit ourselves to shouting “Allelulia,” if we proclaim Christ’s resurrection only by words, we ignore the central message of Paul – the message of Christ.

“You too must think of yourselves as being dead to sin and living for God in Christ Jesus.”

Easter Blessings to all!

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