Christ Indeed from Death is Risen, Our New Life Obtaining
April 13, 2017
Dear sisters and brothers in Christ Jesus,
Christ indeed from death is risen, our new life obtaining. Have mercy, victor King, ever reigning! Amen. Alleluia.
(from Victimae Paschali Laudes, the Sequence for Easter)
Resurrection and mercy are one and the same. God’s mercy is most fully expressed in Christ’s sacrifice which opens for us the gates of heaven. We, who lost our relationship with God through sin, are now welcomed back by His death and resurrection. “Our paschal lamb, Christ, has been sacrificed. Therefore, let us celebrate the feast.” St. Paul sums it all up so beautifully, placing the Passion in its proper context as the fulfilment of the Passover of the Old Covenant.
The New Covenant, in Christ’s Body and Blood, is celebrated in the Eucharistic Feast. Each Sunday, when we eat His Body and drink His Blood in the Eucharist, we participate in the Banquet of Heaven. In the Eucharist Christ is offered once for all, not merely symbolically like the paschal lambs of the past, but in Spirit and Truth as He says: “This is My Body, which will be given up for you.”
Our belief in the resurrection is directly tied to our belief in the True Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. That which was offered up on the Cross is that which we receive. He who was slain and rose from the dead offers us participation in the Heavenly Feast by becoming that feast Himself. Jesus is the Lamb of sacrifice; He is the Priest who offers Himself to the Father; He is the foretaste and promise of Eternal Life. Jesus, Emmanuel—God-with-us, allows us to be with God. By rising from the dead, He raises our mortal nature to immortality by offering it to the Father.
We are bathed in His Mercy in the waters of Baptism. We are strengthened to be heralds of His Mercy in Confirmation. We are fed by His Mercy in the Eucharist. Sing praise to God who raises us to life in His Mercy! Amen. Alleluia.