Theme: WE DIE AND RISE WITH JESUS CHRIST TO THE NEW LIFE OF EASTER IN BAPTISM
- Acts 10:34. 37-43;
- Psalm 117:1-2. 16-17. 22-23. R/ v. 24;
- Colossians 3:1-4
- John 20:1-9
A happy Easter to all of you! We are happy because Jesus Christ has risen from the dead! We are happy because last night we also renewed our faith and baptism and died and rose with Jesus Christ to the new life of Easter!
Today we have our big Easter/Paschal candle lighted in our sanctuary symbolizing Jesus Christ our light! Light in the New Testament symbolizes 3 things: (i) Light symbolizes faith as opposed to unbelief which is darkness and blindness. (ii) Light symbolizes life, contentment and happiness as opposed to death, misery and unhappiness which is darkness. (iii) Light symbolizes good as opposed to evil which is darkness.
More importantly, the 3 themes are related, that is, with faith in God, we receive life from God, and the life from God is a life of good and goodness!
Most importantly, light will overcome darkness, faith will overcome unbelief, life will overcome death, and good will overcome evil; because Jesus Christ the light of the world has overcome the devil the darkness of the world.
And Jesus Christ the light of the world will continue to overcome the devil the darkness of the world through the power of the Holy Spirit, until the end of time when light will overcome all darkness, completely, fully and totally! That would be the end of the world, that is, the end of the evil world, the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, the Parousia!
The gospel today tells us about the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The gospel tells us that Mary of Magdala went to the tomb of Jesus and found that the stone covering the tomb had been moved away! She thought that the body of Jesus had been taken away and she ran to tell Peter and John about it.
Peter and John ran to the tomb and entering the tomb Peter saw the linen cloths lying on the ground and the cloth over Jesus’ head rolled up and separated from the linen cloths. That is to say the tomb was not robed and nothing was stolen. That is to say Jesus Christ has risen from the dead! Most importantly, the gospel tells us that John also went into the tomb and he saw and he believed! (CSB; IBC; NJBC)
The first reading also tells us about the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The first reading tells us that Peter and the apostles ate and drank with Jesus after his resurrection from the dead! Jesus spent forty days with them after his resurrection before ascending into heaven! (NJB)
But more importantly, the first reading tells us that Jesus told Peter to tell the people about it so that those who believe in Jesus will have their sins forgiven in his name. That is, to be baptized in his name! That is why immediately following today’s first reading is the “baptism of the first gentiles”! (NJB)
The second reading tells us about baptism! (NJB; IBC; CCB) The second reading tells us that after baptism we must not look for worldly things, but we must look for the things in heaven! After baptism our glory is not yet complete, but it will be completed and perfected in heaven where we will be with Jesus and God the Father!
That is why we renew our faith and baptism every year at Easter, until one day our glory will be completed at the second coming of Jesus Christ at the end of time in heaven!
We shall now renew our faith and baptism by answering 6 questions, 3 rejecting Satan who tempts us not to believe in God as he tempted Adam and Jesus in the readings on the First Sunday of Lent!
After answering “I do” 6 times, we will be sprinkled with the waters of baptism, the waters of the Holy Spirit and we will die and rise with Jesus Christ to the new life of Easter. Again, a happy Easter to all of you! Amen!
Parish Priest of St Mary, Tawau, Sabah East Malaysia.