2 min read
22 Apr

This week we Lectio the Liturgy with the Collect for the Fifth Sunday of Easter.

Almighty ever-living God, constantly accomplish the Paschal Mystery within us, that those you were pleased to make new in Holy Baptism may, under your protective care, bear much fruit and come to the joys of life eternal. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever.

Our petition in this prayer is that the Paschal Mystery within us be constantly accomplished. The two things we need to understand in this phrase are: what is the Paschal Mystery within us and how is it constantly accomplished?

When we consider the Paschal Mystery, we usually come to understand that it is the suffering, death, and resurrection of Jesus, but how did it come to be within us? Through Baptism.

In the Catechism of the Catholic Church (628), we read, “Baptism, the original and full sign of which is immersion, efficaciously signifies the descent into the tomb by the Christian who dies to sin with Christ in order to live a new life.” Efficacious means it does what it says.

Colossians 2:12 tells us, “You were buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead.“ (NABRE)

We were buried with him and we were raised with him. The Paschal Mystery of Jesus lives in us.

When the custom of the parish or diocese is to celebrate Baptism outside of the Mass, we tend to forget the power of this Sacrament. During Baptism, when the water is poured, or the person is lowered into the water, what happens in the physical realm also happens in the spiritual. We are buried with Christ. When we come up from the water, we are a new creation, every bit as new as Jesus when he came forth from the tomb.

This Mystery in us isn’t accomplished, as in finished, it is perfected. In the Latin form of the prayer, we find the word perfice, which also means to achieve, or bring about.

As the Paschal Mystery in us is accomplished, two things happen. With God’s protective care, we bear much fruit. This fruit is the grace of God. We are now dead to sin and raised again in the life of Christ. It is His life living in us.

Coming to the joys of life eternal is the second result of being made new in Baptism and these joys are to be celebrated today, right where we are. We are made new creatures not just to be new, but to be partakers in the divine life every day of our life. There’s just one little catch: we have to put forth some effort.

“For all the baptized, children or adults, faith must grow after Baptism.” (Emphasis as quoted in CCC1254.) Just like a plant needs water to survive, in order to grow it needs fertilizer and an occasional bigger pot.

Regularly attending Mass is what sustains us, but we need more in order to grow. Faith “fertilizer” can come in many forms, such as a holy hour at your home altar, your parish, or at Adoration. A “bigger pot” of faith might be joining or starting a bible or book study. It may be starting or joining a prayer ministry at your church. Sometimes the bigger pot may feel a bit scary, but that’s OK. Pretty soon your roots will grow into it.

All the baptized are living proof of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. When we let God do his work, we will bear fruit and live in the joys of heaven. It is then that we are the pure reflection of the One who gives us new life in Christ and when we learn and grow, we bring others with us.

Thanks for praying with me,

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