We are called to learn to live a life in line with Him who lives in us
Life after Easter
Anne Marie Gatenby
ISAO Intercession coordinator, Australia
Our journey through lent was a time when we reflected on what our Lord did for us on the cross. This invites us to look at our lives seeing where we need to change to become more like the image of the One we love and serve. Easter Sunday arrives with great joy and celebration with the amazing truth that Jesus has risen from the grave. He has defeated death, and now sits at the right hand of His Father in heaven (Mk 16:19). As I ponder on this I never cease to be in awe of what He did for me, out of love, when he died on the cross. He forgave my sins and provided a way for me to live a new life in His forgiveness and love. This was done by His humble obedience to His Father as He chose to humble himself and become obedient to death, even on a cross ( Phil 2:8) so that you and I could have “life and life to the full”
He gave us this new life, Scripture says that “It’s no longer I that lives but Christ that lives in me” (Gal 2:20). We are called to learn to live a life in line with Him who lives in us. Some years ago I was going through a challenging time and was very aware of my short comings and struggling with how to turn away from sin and enter into life during this time. I fell to my knees and cried out to the Lord saying Your word says “It’s no longer I that lives but Christ that lives in me”. Show me how to live this way as I don’t know how to walk in the fullness of this new life that You have given me”. What followed was a journey that I am still on many years later. The Lord began to show me step by step in how to choose life, knowing that I have the Author of life living in me.
What I am continually learning is that the more I set my thoughts (mind) and desires to live by the Spirit, the more I can live in the Spirit and living in the Spirit is life.
The book of Romans chapter 8:1-2 begins with saying “There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For in Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit has set you free from the law of sin and death. In verse 5-6 it says “Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on the things of the flesh; but those who live according to the Sprit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. The mind of the flesh is death but the mind of the Spirit is life and peace” What I am continually learning is that the more I set my thoughts (mind) and desires to live by the Spirit, the more I can live in the Spirit and living in the Spirit is life. In John 16:12-15 Jesus explains to His disciples that the Holy Spirit will guide them into all truth and will take what is His and make it known to them. This means that the Holy Spirit will also guide us in how to live a life in Jesus for as we choose to live in the Holy Spirit we choose to live in life. It can be a daily and sometimes minute by minute choice. When we make this choice even if sometimes we feel weak in that decision Jesus power is available in our weakness, scripture says “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me” 2Cor 12:9. Jesus’ power (Holy Spirit) helps us to choose to live in the life of the Spirit. When we proclaim the mystery of our faith at Holy Mass we say ‘Save us, Saviour of the world, for by your cross and resurrection you have set us free”. This is such a powerful statement of truth. We are no longer held to the old patterns of our life. When Jesus died on the cross and rose again, we too through our baptism rose again in life and the life we now live, we live in Him. This is life and life to the full.
The Catechism says” Finally, Christ’s Resurrection – and the risen Christ Himself is the principle and source of our future resurrection: “Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep. . . For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.” The risen Christ lives in the hearts of his faithful while they await that fulfilment. In Christ, Christians “have tasted. . . the powers of the age to come” and their lives are swept up by Christ into the heart of divine life, so that they may “live no longer for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised” (CCC 655,529-530). This says that our lives are swept up by Christ into the heart of divine life so we no longer live for ourselves but for Him, choosing to live in the Holy Spirit is choosing to live a life in Jesus. It’s our decision on which way we choose. There are many who do not know Jesus and they need to see in our lives a different way to live.
We are called to reflect Jesus and the way to do this is to live step by step listening and responding to the Holy Spirit. As we choose to live this way we proclaim to those around us through the way we live that “It’s no longer us that lives but Christ who lives in us. The life we now live in the body, we live by faith in the Son of God, who loved us and gave himself up for us (Gal2:20)”