homily – April 12

John 20:1-9

In the earliest years of the Church this was the night when all baptisms took place. In those days baptisms were by immersion. They took place at a river or lake. The new converts were taken into the water and immersed. Just as Christ was entombed in the earth those being baptized were entombed in water. Just as Christ came out of the tomb to new life so the newly baptized came out of the life-giving water to walk in newness of life. Christ’s resurrection is the pledge and promise of our resurrection. “If we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly be with him in a resurrection like his.”

Good people with the help of others, you have been involved in a long process of study and soul searching concerning your own relationship with God and with the Catholic Church. The celebration of your baptism, confirmation, your profession of faith and your first communion is not the end of the journey. These Sacraments are your beginning of a life-long process in the development of your own relationship with Christ and with the church.

Our parish motto is ‘belonging, believing, becoming’. Tonight’s celebration is all about your becoming, it is about your growing to a full maturity in Christ.

Tomorrow millions of children will be involved in the hunt for Easter eggs. It’s an Easter ritual. Notice their joy in the hunting, their excitement in the finding and their eagerness to search for more. The Easter Egg Hunt is a lesson for all of us. There is always more to discover and each discovery brings it own joy and motivates us to look for more.

Our lives should be a constant search for Easter eggs, finding new discoverers about the Risen Christ and our personal relationships with Him. Searching for new ways of deepening our relationship with Him and His gifts of the Eucharist and the Sacraments through which we deepen our relationship with Him. He has given us all a share in His glory.

This night we all celebrate the wonder Christ is Risen. The tragedy of Good Friday is transformed into victory, life conquers death and love destroys hatred. As we say in one of our prayers, ‘the Father has raised the Lord Jesus and we too have been raised in Him to live a new life for God.’

As we continue this ritual of Baptism, Confirmation and Reception with these good people and later when all of us renew our own Baptismal promises, pray for ourselves and for each other that each of us will be blessed to be a hunter, a searcher, always seeking a deeper understanding and a fuller living of the faith with which we have all been blessed. May we always live in the wonder – Christ has died, Christ is Risen, Christ will come again.