On this great feast we celebrate more than the Resurrection of the Lord, we celebrate our Redemption, the effect of the Lord’s Resurrection upon each of us. The opening prayer of the Easter liturgy expresses it beautifully. “God our Father, by raising Christ your Son you conquered the power of death and opened for us the way to eternal life. Let our celebration today raise us up and renew our lives by the Spirit that is within us.”
We are remindd by Peter’s words in the reading from the Acts of the Apostles that our Redemption is a beginning and not an end. They are taken from his baptism of Cornelius, a Roman Centurion, and his family. It is the Apostle’s first outreach to the gentile community and presages the ready acceptance of the gospel by the Greco-Roman world. Peter sends us a clear message as to what our task is. Like Peter, we are impelled by the Christ event to share it, to mediate it to others. “We are witnesses to what he did.” We must proclaim Jesus as Savior and “bear witness that everyone who believes in him will receive forgiveness of sins through his name.”
Our Redemption does not mean that we should rest in satisfied self-righteousness, but rather, that we must set about continuing and completing the work of Christ and the Apostles. Just as the Light of Christ dispelled the darkness of death, by our words and our actions, we must raise up Christ in our communities, in our place of work, in our families, in our world where the darkness of sin and selfishness needs to be dispelled. In the words of the responsorial psalm, because of the Resurrection “I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the Lord.”
As members of the Body of Christ we continue the saving work of Christ, not on our own but by the power of “the Spirit that lives within us.”
I wish you all a very blessed Easter.