by Ken Rolheiser
Our Resurrection and God’s life in us

Our pastor used a simple riddle to illustrate our belief in the Resurrection:
Why did the chicken cross the road?
To get to the other side.
Our Resurrection gets us to the other side.

It reminded me of a simple joke about crossing a stream. A call across the water: “How do I get to the other side?” And the reply: “You are on the other side.”

When it comes to the Resurrection, we are on the other side.

There is a beautiful story about love called “A Box Full of Kisses”. A man punished his three-year-old daughter for wasting a roll of gold wrapping paper when money was tight. Nevertheless, the little girl brought the gift to her father the next morning and said, “This is for you, Daddy.”
In his rage when he saw that the box was empty, he yelled at her; “Don’t you know, when you give someone a present, there is supposed to be something inside?”
With tears in her eyes the little girl cried; “Oh, Daddy, it’s not empty at all. I blew kisses into the box. They’re all for you, Daddy.”
 He put his arms around his little girl, and he begged for her forgiveness. Only a short time later, an accident took the life of the child. Her father kept the gold box by his bed for many years, and, whenever he was discouraged, he would take out an imaginary kiss and remember the love of the child who had put it there.

There is a special gift we received as children and that is God’s Love. There is no reason we cannot still embrace that gift we received at Baptism. Theologically we received God’s life in us and became children of God and brothers and sisters of Jesus Christ.

Like any sacrament, Baptism makes visible an invisible reality. In other words, we use physical signs and rituals to express our experience of God and his grace in our lives. The symbols you see at a Baptism include the following:

The physical actions of Baptism express the deeper and actual meaning of the sacrament. We die to sin and rise to new life in Jesus. Anointing with oil symbolizes the presence of the Holy Spirit in the temple of our body. 

“All power in heaven and earth has been given to me. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Teach them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.” (Matthew. 28:18-20). 

Jesus is always with us through the indelible mark given to us at baptism, and later through the Holy Eucharist, so that our baptismal grace can be protected, nourished and become mature by God working through the other sacraments and the Church’s teachings. 

Why did Jesus insist on John baptizing him? First of all to show us that he is human, like us. Baptism also showed us his divinity. The appearance of the Dove and the Father’s words endorse this: “This is my beloved Son with whom I am well pleased.”

And finally, through this baptism of Jesus and through our baptism, we are brothers and sisters of Christ, and we walk with God. God’s life is in us. This resurrected presence will stay with us. We are on the other side.

(580 words)