By Dr Christine Wood, Director of the Office of Evangelisation & Catechesis
This Easter Vigil hundreds of thousands of adults throughout the world will become a ‘new creation’ in Christ as they are fully initiated into the Christian faith through Baptism, Confirmation, and first Holy Communion.
The magnificent hymn of praise called the Exsultet sung at the Easter Vigil Mass, recounts God’s plan of salvation as it has unfolded throughout history. We hear the curious proclamation: “O truly necessary sin of Adam, destroyed completely by the Death of Christ! O happy fault that earned for us so great, so glorious a Redeemer.”
Adam’s sin, although extremely devastating for humanity and the world, is declared to be a “happy fault” in comparison to the great and glorious Redeemer, Jesus Christ, who manifested his great love for us in such an unexpected, yet magnificent, way through his death and resurrection.
It is this love of Christ for us that the newly baptised at Easter experience in a most profound way through their baptism.
They are transformed into ‘new creations’, their sins being washed away in the baptismal font, and as they “put on Christ” they become new persons.
Indeed, they are no longer sinful creatures, but now they are truly children of God.
This radical transformation is made possible through the gift of faith and the Holy Spirit in the baptismal waters. If you have not been baptised yet and you long to become a new person, to break free from your sinful self, to walk in the light of God, then today is the time to entrust your heart to Jesus Christ, and ask him to draw you to the water of salvation.
I encourage you to approach your local Catholic parish to enquire about the process of becoming a Christian.
Those adults who are baptised this Easter Vigil have been on a journey of faith for many months, or even years.
They have been accompanied by members of their local Catholic parish, who together have discerned their readiness to be fully initiated into the Christian life. This day is a day of great joy for both the newly baptised and those who have accompanied them.
We thank God for the gift of the newly baptised, and we pray that many more will be open to hearing the Gospel, the good news of Jesus Christ, and will receive the gift of faith in baptism. Will you approach the baptismal font next Easter?