Spiritual writers often warn against a certain “numbness” that can enter our lives and keep us from experiencing newness of life. Sometimes, we are numb to the evil in our midst and just accept “things as they are.” Sometimes we are numb to God’s miracles in our lives and fail to recognize all that is possible. Sometimes, we are numb to what is expected of us and just “keep going on” living our lives in the same old way. Sometimes, we are numb to the reality that this world will one day end and so we just put all our emphasis on the here and now. Tonight the Church in her infinite love and wisdom gives us the “wake up call” we may need to alleviate our numbness.
We began this liturgy in darkness, which is in our midst each day but sadly may no longer shock us. It includes: the lack of reverence for all human life and the dignity of each person; hatred and violence in our communities and the lack of care for the poor and needy. Only when we are mindful of the darkness do we recognize our dependency on the Light that dispels it. Having lit the Easter fire and Paschal Candle, may we be drawn away from a passive acceptance of the darkness and drawn ever close to the Light of Christ.
In doing so, may we be reawakened to the power of God to make all things new, as beautifully proclaimed in tonight’s Sacred Readings. The Old Testament revealed God transforming chaos to order and delivering his people from bondage to freedom. The New Testament proclaims Jesus as the One who was raised from the dead and proved victorious over sin, suffering and even death itself. Tonight, we are awakened to the new life God offers each one of us and His miraculous power within our lives.
The Church also awakens us tonight to our call to be instruments in bringing the
of Christ to others. We are happy tonight for those who will be baptized and received into full communion with the Church. They inspire us. Thus, as we renew our baptismal call this evening, we pledge to bring Christ’s light to others as they see that we find our strength in His Word and the Sacraments; to consistently practice our faith; and to adhere to the call of the Gospel and generously serve one another. In doing so, we are faithful witnesses to the presence of Christ, who is alive and with us.
We can so easily become numb to the reality that our life here on earth is merely a journey to our final destination. Through His own suffering, death and resurrection, Jesus invites us to eternal life. Thus, we must not be consumed with worldly concerns. Instead, we keep our eyes on what is above so that on the day the Lord calls us to Himself we may fully celebrate the truth proclaimed on this holy night: that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father; we too might live in newness and fullness of life forever and ever.
Father Ed Bakker
Anglican Catholic Church / Original Province
Mission of Saint Aidan of Lindisfarne
Launceston on Tasmania