Fourth Sunday of Easter

Acts 2:14 & 36-41; 1 Pet 2:20-25; Jn 10:1-10 (year a)

The life that Jesus had lived with his disciples before his death on the Cross was changed radically in his Resurrection. St Paul tells us that through his Resurrection Jesus was “proclaimed Son of God in all his power”.

Christ’s disciples of Jesus were also changed as the power of his Resurrection transformed their hearts. The Acts of the Apostles record the multitudes that turned to Christ. Their baptism was something more than a superficial, quickly forgotten initiation. For those first converts, as for ourselves, baptism was a conscious decision to follow in the footsteps of their Lord. It demanded a repentance that changed their most fundamental attitudes to life.

In baptism they abandoned past selfishness, choosing to be ruled by the mind and heart of their Risen Lord. They longed for something more than forgiveness. They longed to be alive in Christ and to share a life of love with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Clearly they could not achieve this of themselves, however genuine their remorse for the past.

We cannot earn love; we can only receive it as an unmerited gift. Such was the generosity of the Father in the Resurrection of his Son, enabling us, through the gift of the Spirit, to become his sons and daughters. Baptism is more than a beginning; it is a whole way of life lived with the Lord. We live the Resurrection only to the extent that we daily die to sin and rise to new life in Christ.

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