Let the Risen Christ permeate us - Sacrament Matters

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Home > Media > News > Let the Risen Christ permeate us - Sacrament Matters
Let the Risen Christ permeate us - Sacrament Matters

Dr. Christine E. Wood, Director of the Office of Evangelisation & Catechesis

Let us rejoice in the resurrection of Christ, our Saviour! The tomb is empty; Jesus is not there, he has risen, as he said!
This indeed is truly good news. It is something new: no other faith proclaims the destruction of death, and the hope of resurrection. Our human condition has changed forever now that Christ has risen from the dead. We no longer fear the power of death for with faith we too can rise to new life with him.

The fourth century Church Father, St John Chrysostom proclaims: “Hell took a body, and discovered God. It took earth, and encountered Heaven. It took what it saw, and was overcome by what it did not see. O death, where is thy sting? O Hell, where is thy victory? Christ is Risen, and you, O death, are annihilated!...Christ is Risen, and life is liberated!”

How can we let the liberating power of the risen Lord permeate and renew us? How do we step out of the darkness of sin and death, and not fall prey to the wave of unbelief and hopelessness?

First, we believe that the ‘Christ of faith’ is the crucified and resurrected ‘Jesus of Nazareth.’ The historical person who was born in Bethlehem, grew up in Nazareth, and worshipped in the Temple, who challenged the Jerusalem authorities to hear the Word of God, and who was rejected and crucified, is the same man whom we believe has conquered death and now has the power to heal us.

Second, we must encounter Jesus Christ anew in faith, prayer, and the Eucharist. In faith, we draw near to Christ in the sacraments.

Ancient Jews believed that to ritually enact God’s saving events in history actually made the power of those events present for the current generation. Similarly, Catholics believe that ritually enacting Christ’s death and resurrection in the sacraments makes him present to us.

Catholics believe that entering into the baptismal waters they die with Christ; and rising from the waters they rise to new life in Christ.

When Catholics pray the Mass, they enter into Christ’s loving, sacrificial self-offering and there they encounter the resurrected Christ.

In Holy Communion, Catholics receive the resurrected Christ in all his power. If we receive him in faith and love, his liberating power can permeate our whole being and renew us from within.

Therefore, as we participate in the Eucharist this Easter, let the Paschal greeting resound in hearts: “Christ is risen! Indeed, He is risen!”