Easter and the Eucharist

Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth, for you have died, and your life is hidden with

Christ in God. When Christ who is your life is revealed, then you also will be revealed with him in glory (Col. 3:3-4). ⧾

The Resurrection of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is the crowning truth of our faith in Christ. This is the third day of the Paschal Triduum and it is the day that will never end for the Resurrection of Our Lord is our life and our hope of glory. So we sing: This is the day the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it. The celebration of Paschal Triduum began on Holy Thursday with the evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper during which we contemplated the gift and mystery of the Holy Eucharist, both the pledge of our future glory and the reality upon which we establish our life in Christ. The

Eucharist is His Real Presence among us and as such the source and summit of our lives as Catholics. To be authentically Catholic it is absolutely necessary to live an intensely Eucharistic life.

During the three sacred days we have contemplated the Easter mystery, the Paschal Mystery in all its depth and detail. What is set before us during these holy days is the path for the rest of our lives; and each year we return to the source of this path so that we might resolve to tread it with greater determination and purpose. The path is Our Lord Himself and in His Passover He reveals Himself as the Way, Truth and Life, a life that will never end. We have walked with Him to the Cross; and while on earth, the Way of the Cross is a familiar path whether we bear our own cross or help others with theirs. The journey however ends not in the tomb for the tomb is empty. Christ has risen. His Resurrection is a historical eventThe mystery of Christ’s resurrection is a real event, with manifestations that were historically verified, as the New Testament bears witness. In about A.D. 56 St Paul could already write to the Corinthians: ‘I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the Twelve…’ [St. Paul is speaking] here of the living tradition of the Resurrection (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 639). We who believe in Christ Our Saviour and Our Risen Lord are part of this living tradition of the Resurrection.

As we live our lives then, we heed the Apostle’s words: Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth, for you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life is revealed, then you also will be revealed with him in glory (Col. 3:3-4). All that we do and all that we become in this life does not end in the darkness of the grave. Knowing this, we endeavour to live a life hidden with Christ in God. This means that we live our lives in view of eternity (in specie aeternitatis). It means that we have accepted His gift and promise of salvation; that we receive and accept all that He teaches us with docility and gratitude; that we have banished the illusion of moral self-sufficiency and have determined to follow Our Lord in a life of continuous personal conversion to goodness, purity, humility, gentleness, charity, courage, penance, and even to suffering patiently borne out of love for God. This is what faithful disciples of Christ have done throughout our history and they literally transformed the world. This never-ending work begins in the intimacy of our own hearts first and foremost. This is why in the renewal of our baptismal vows our response of faith is a very personal I do.

Our Lenten penance and sacrifices have been a preparation for this moment of renewed commitment which though intimately personal, is strengthened by the witness and efforts of our brothers and sisters everywhere who endeavour to walk the path of devout humility in imitation of Our Lord and Our Lady. The renewal of our spirits in the ever-present grace of the Resurrection assures us of a continual renewal of our lives. Authentic Christian life means a life of intense charity and self-giving, both in prayer and good works. Authentic Christian life is a Eucharistic life because the Eucharist makes present God’s love poured out for us on the Cross and the new and eternal life of the Resurrection.

The Paschal Mystery has enveloped us once again this year. At the beginning of Lent we noted that a Mystery is an action of God that encompasses past, present and future. We rejoice in a historic fact of the past – that Christ rose from the dead. We rejoice in the actual fact of the present – that through Baptism we share His death and Resurrection. We look forward to a certain fact of the future – that Christ will come again to lead us into the eternal kingdom of His glory. That will be our final Passover, when all His redemptive work will be finished. Until then, let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together … but encouraging one another (Heb. 10:24-25).  In the certainty of this truth, we undertake all our efforts with confidence and trust in the assistance of God’s grace always at work in the hearts of all who believe.

Let us then renew our Christian commitment to live in Christ, for the choice we make determines who we are and what we are; and, what we become now and in eternity. In union with Our Lord, let us offer our bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God, [our] true and proper worship (Rom. 12:1). In union with Our Lady, our Mother and Model in discipleship we rejoice in the truth of the Resurrection and we endeavour to live by the radiance of this truth. So we set [our] minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth, for [we] have died, and [our] life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is [our] life is revealed, then [we] also will be revealed with him in glory (Col. 3:3-4).  We are not afraid but confident that God Our Father is serenely accomplishing the work of human salvation, planned from all eternity. Therefore, what matters most is faith working through love (Gal. 5:6); this is our work as we walk the pilgrimage of our earthly life amidst the persecutions of the world and the consolations of God. ⧾