EVERYTHING MADE NEW

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EVERYTHING MADE NEW

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cimagala-thumbBy Fr. Roy Cimagala

HAPPY Easter to all! Easter commemorates the resurrection of Christ, his final victory over our own sin and death carried out by his own death on the cross. With this singular event, we ought to clearly see the vital link between Christ’s resurrection and the cross, between our true glorification and our need to suffer and die to ourselves. We cannot have one without the other.

Easter is actually the happiest, most glorious day of the year. That’s objectively speaking, since subjectively we might consider other days happier or more glorious. Like Christmas day, for example, when we tend to wax lyrical due to the tremendous truth of God born to us like a baby. Or our birthday that simply has its inherent, automatic magical effect.

This means that we have to do some adjustments, some tweaking to make what is subjective conform to what is objective, to make our perceptions conform to a deeper level of reality. In short, we have to go theological more than merely emotional or social or whatever. Faith, a gift from God that gives us the whole picture of things, should lead the way for us.

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Truth is that through his passion and death and in obedience to the will of his Father, Christ paid in full for our sins and their consequences, foremost of which is death. He made himself a perfect ransom for us who have been abducted and alienated from God due to our sin.

Again, let’s remember that the joy of Easter does not exempt us from suffering and death. We cannot avoid them since we cannot avoid sin that causes them. The freedom, which God has given us and which makes us precisely his image and likeness, is so intoxicating that it becomes fragile in our own hands, making us very prone to abuse it.

What can make us like God can also easily make us like the devil, God’s formerly marvellous creature who freely chose to be his enemy, also because of his misuse of his God-given freedom. Anyway, despite the most dangerous possibility of us abusing our freedom and falling into sin, we are told by St. Paul that “where sin abounded, grace did more abound.” (Rom 5,20)

It’s always good to remember this Pauline reassurance that perfectly describes God’s eternal love and mercy for us. We need to realize ever more deeply that God has given us everything that we need for us to do what we ought to do, to be what we ought to be.

There’s really no need for us to be dominated by doubts, fear and shame because of our sinfulness that sometimes can lead us to a feeling of helplessness. We have to fight against that tendency, and to unload whatever unnecessary emotional or psychological baggage we may still carry.

It’s a matter of faith in God’s love for us, which should be shown in deeds, that would enable us to participate in Christ’s victory over sin and death with his resurrection. That victory will always make us new as St. Paul once affirmed:

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“If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation, the old has passed away. Behold, all things are made new.” (2 Cor 5,17) In another passage, St. Paul said: “For we are buried together with him by baptism into death, that as Christ is risen from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we also may walk in the newness of life.” (Rom 6,4)

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We need to learn the ways of this “newness of life” offered by Christ through his passion, death and resurrection or the

Paschal mystery that summarizes everything that he did and said to save us, to re-create us from our sinful selves to bring us back and to enrich our original dignity as God’s image and likeness, as God’s children.

Easter should not be wasted by simply enjoying it emotionally and sentimentally. It has to lead us to more closely follow the Spirit’s promptings as to how we can shed the undesirable old man that we have been in order to be the new man Christ has made us with his resurrection.

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In this regard, St. Paul advised us “not to be conformed to this world, but be reformed in the newness of your mind, that you may prove what is the good, and the acceptable, and the perfect will of God.” (Rom 12,2)

Let Easter be a time to give teeth to our desire for a new life, coming up with appropriate plans and programs so we can correspond more faithfully to everything that Christ has given us.

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