Jesus Christ is risen from the dead. Alleluia! Alleluia! A new day has begun. On this Easter day we awaken to a new life. All things have been made new. The old way of life that was subject to death has passed away. Everything has been changed. What we had counted as a loss on the cross of Christ has been turned around and now is revealed as a total victory. Sin and death have been crucified with Christ Jesus and what had been considered a loss has now, in this new day of the resurrection, been turned into victory. There has been a great reversal on the cross of Christ. It seemed to us that the world was crucifying Jesus but through his total offering of himself as a sacrificial offering of love, Jesus has turned things around and it is the world that is crucified. Sin and death have been nailed to the cross and Jesus has claimed victory over the sin of humanity, washing it away in his blood. The shameful cross of suffering and death has been transformed into the new and glorious tree of life. The darkness of night has been driven away by the light of Christ that has dawned on this new day. “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” (Jn 1,5)
John gives us a vision of this new day in Revelation as he writes: “The one who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” (Rev 21,5) On this new day, all things have been made new for us. This day we call Easter is the new day, the eighth day, the day of new creation when all things are created anew. A new creation calls for a new way of life, a new way of living. Today is the first day. We must begin again in Christ Jesus. We must start over and learn a new way of life. St. Paul tells us: “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 our old self was crucified with him, so that our sinful body might be done away with, that we might no longer be in slavery to sin. For a dead person has been absolved from sin. If, then, we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him. We know that Christ, raised from the dead, dies no more; death no longer has power over him. As to his death, he dies 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.” (Rom 6,6-11) We live now in the newness of life which is characterized by our no longer living for ourselves apart, separated from God, who created us and has made us new in Christ Jesus, but now living for God, united to him in a communion of love.
Pope Benedict wrote of this newness of life: “Only if Jesus is risen has anything really new occurred that changes the world and the situation of mankind. Then he becomes the criterion on which we can rely. For then God has truly revealed himself…Jesus’ Resurrection was about breaking out into an entirely new form of life, into a life that is no longer subject to the law of dying and becoming, but lies beyond it – a life that opens up a new dimension of human existence. Therefore the Resurrection of Jesus is not an isolated event that we could set aside as something limited to the past, but it constitutes an “evolutionary leap”. In Jesus’ Resurrection a new possibility of human existence is attained that affects everyone and that opens up a future, a new kind of future, for mankind…If there really is a God, is he not able to create a new dimension of human existence, a new dimension of reality altogether? Is not creation actually waiting for this last and highest “evolutionary leap”, for the union of the finite with the infinite, for the union of man and God, for the conquest of death?”
St. Paul instructs the Corinthians: “So whoever is in Christ is a new creation: the old things have passed away; behold, new things have come.” Living in this newness of life, how then should we live? What does this new life in the Risen Christ look like? St. Paul exhorts the Colossians: “If then you were raised with Christ, seek what is above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Think of what is above, not of what is on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ your life appears, then you too will appear with him in glory.” (Col 3,1-4) Our new life is a life hidden in God, living for God, seeking holiness and living in the Spirit. On this new day, we have been born anew in Christ Jesus and we humbly take our place seated again at his feet where we entreat him, “Master, teach us, through your Spirit living now in us, to live this new life you have gained for us in your love. Teach us how to live for God alone and that will be enough for us!” Amen. Alleluia!
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