Easter and being born to eternal life 

“God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not be lost but may have eternal life” (John 3:16).

On Holy Saturday we rejoice, not just because it is the night the heavens are opened to us, but because it is the night we too can die. In Baptism we die to the old life of sin and accept the love of Jesus. In Christ’s tomb mankind is transformed and born again into life that is forever. Rejoice and believe the Good News!

Let me share a true story about this rebirth into life as related by Annabelle Mosely: “My grandmother taught me many lessons during her life, and one last precious one right as she passed away.”

Moseley continues, “I was blessed to be holding her right hand as she passed… from earthly life to eternal life. As I watched her, I thought of the phrase, ‘born to eternal life.’ ”  

Mosely explains, “The process of dying is a kind of labor, akin to birthing a new life. Something about the way she breathed that last hour… I can best liken it to being in labor. … there are moments you’d swear you were dying, such is the pain the body feels as it assists in giving new life.

“A mother must focus her breathing and ride the labor. Each time I’ve given birth, I’ve been astounded at how it feels like a veil between heaven and earth that opens above me, as though God and the entire communion of saints is very near,” Mosley says.

Her grand mother always said: “You’re never closer to God than when you’re giving birth… when I held the hand and knelt at the side of this woman who had herself given birth six times, I recognized that she was again very close to God, as her breathing and extreme focus was like that of one in labor while God prepared to birth her into eternal life.” 

“As I watched her die, I was privileged not only to witness her faith, but to learn that death is a kind of labor, the kind that assists in bringing forth new life in God. My grandmother realized that she had to enter the labor of death in order to reach that new life,” Mosley concludes. (Aleteia, March 22, 2019)

Father Brendan McGuire shares a moment when he prayed with a dying man: "Go to meet your maker; go to meet your Lord in the Garden of Paradise; He will greet you, and all the angels and the saints will come out to meet you."

At this moment McGuire usually says, “Just say yes to the Lord”. But on this occasion, he looked at the patient and added, "Ron, will you please say hello to the Lord for me and tell him I need some help here.”
“Ron looked at me straight in the face and smirked. It was such a relief because in that moment we broke through. In that moment, he was ministering to me, not I to him… he knew that… soon he would be able to meet the Lord.”

Spring and signs of re-birth surround us. It is Easter again. This may be the year for us to finally come out of the tomb along with Christ.

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By Ken Rolheiser