Blog # 322 Catholic Theology # 9
In his letter to the Romans Paul has this to say: "Are you not aware that we who were Baptized into Christ Jesus were Baptized into His death?...If we have been united with him through likeness to his death, so shall we be through a we have died with Christ, we believe that we are also to live with him. (Rom. 6 3,5,8. And in his letter to the Philippians Paul says: "I wish to know Christ and the power flowing from his resurrection; likewise to know how to share in his sufferings by being formed into the likeness of his death. Thus do I hope that I may arrive at resurrection from the dead." (Phil. 3: 10.11. In the canon of the Mass on the occasion of a Catholic funeral the commemoration of the person for whom the Mass is being offered reads: "Remember your servant N. whom you have called from this world to yourself. Grant that he (she) who was united with your Son in a death like his, may be one with him in his Resurrection."
I feel more sure of our resurrection than I feel sure the sun will rise in the east tomorrow morning. God has not promised the sun will exist tomorrow morning, but He has promised our resurrection from the dead. My assurance the sun will rise in the east tomorrow will come from experience. My assurance of the resurrection comes as soon as I believe it from faith. God has made the claim and I trust He is not making a mistake or telling me to believe in a lie. Faith gives us real assurance with regard to truth and is quite distinct from hope, desire, taking a guess, or having an opinion about something.
The claim our Catholic theology makes for our resurrection is that it has its foundation and substance in our union with Jesus. This union is brought about in Baptism and is designed to be carried on until death in the supernatural gift of Sanctifying Grace, which is the name we have given to the divine life of Jesus shared within us.
Our entitlement to share in the unconditional trust and total of Jesus on Calvary, in the celebration of the Mass day by day throughout the world and in our resurrection is ours through our union with Jesus as ranches on a vine in Baptism. There never was anyone on earth whom the Father could love as He loved Jesus until Jesus asked the Father in prayer the night before He died on Calvary to unite us with Jesus in such a way that the Father's love of Jesus could be shared within us. This union and love is ours initially and officially through the Sacrament of Baptism.
It is not our good works fasting and prayer that gets us to Heaven. It is our union with Jesus in His divine life that gets us to Heaven. Our good works fasting and prayer are the fruits of the divine life of Jesus living in us in the here and now of our everyday life on earth. It comes to us through faith and Baptism. What a wonderful gift Baptism is when viewed in the light of this insight!
Wonderful too is the light it shines upon the identity of Jesus as the sole Savior of all mankind. Jesus is The Way, The Truth, and The Life, The Gate, The Good Shepherd, the love of God within us and around us, always and everywhere, worthy of our unconditional trust and total love.
THANK YOU, LORD !