This week we Lectio the Liturgy with the Collect for Easter Sunday. For the past couple weeks, I’ve had in the back of my mind, an article I read that made me think about living from baptism. I probably shouldn’t have been surprised to find the same in this week’s prayer.
O God, who on this day, through your Only Begotten Son, have conquered death and unlocked for us the path to eternity,
grant, we pray, that we who keep the solemnity of the Lord’s Resurrection may, through the renewal brought by your Spirit, rise up in the light of life. 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.
This is the Collect for Easter Sunday of the Resurrection, At the Mass during the Day. Did you catch all the references to baptism that are in it?
St. Ambrose wrote, “Baptism is a likeness of death when you go down into the water, and when you rise again it becomes a likeness of resurrection. Thus, according to the interpretation of the apostle [Paul in Romans 6:4], just as Christ’s resurrection was a regeneration, so the resurrection from the font is also a regeneration.”
On Easter Sunday, Jesus rose from the grave with a new body. The tomb of the water is the symbol of our death to sin. After we come up from the water of baptism, we are new creation. It really means that! Just like Jesus, we are not what we were before. The old things have passed away, we are a new creature. (2 Corinthians 5:17)
Baptism is also called Enlightenment. In the Catechism of the Catholic Church (par. 1216) we read, “Having received in Baptism the Word, ‘the true light that enlightens every man,’ the person baptized has been ‘enlightened,’ he becomes a ‘son of light,’ indeed, he becomes ‘light’ himself.”
Paul tell us that we “were once darkness, but now we are light in the Lord. Live as children of light.” Ephesians 5:8
That bring us to the word “keep.” I knew there would be more to keeping this Solemnity than going to church on Easter Sunday. In the Latin prayer, this word (colimus) means to cultivate, abide, dwell. When we cultivate, we make room, we pull weeds, allowing the good to grow. Celebrating our resurrection, our renewal in Christ, should be part of every day, a place where we dwell, not just an occasion.
St. John Chrysostom said, “We ought to live for Christ not just because we belong to him, not just because he died for us and not just because he rose again on our behalf. We ought to live for him because we have been made into something different. We now have a new life. The old things which have passed away refer to our sins and impiety.”
This Collect is calling us to renew and live in and from our Baptism. Now you know why we renew our Baptismal Promises every year at Easter. You can pray those promises every day. Your baptism is not a once-and-done event. In fact, we renew our baptism every time we celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation!
This week as we Lectio the Liturgy, think about how you can live in and from your baptism. I really love verbs. What verb would you use to fill in the blank: I ________ baptized. (was, continually am, is, and are are some examples.) The priest’s alb is a symbol of his baptism, reminding him to “put on” Christ. What can you put on every day to remind you of your baptism? Your favorite saint medal? A scapular? Colossians 3:12-14 has a good list.
Thank you for praying with me, have a blessed week.