New life in Christ brings endless potential
The short passage we hear this weekend from the First Epistle of Peter conveys to us the central mission of faith each of us has been given as disciples of Jesus Christ.
We have inherited a living hope through his death and resurrection. By his obedient suffering, we have been reborn to a new life of grace filled with an endless potential for our growth in holiness.
It is sad, but suffering and trials are a part of everyone’s life and cannot be avoided. They are the consequences of sin and can cause us to lose sight of the divine life being offered to us through the wounds of Jesus Christ. Similar to the apostles, we can, at times, isolate ourselves from the world around us and live out our lives locked up in our own upper rooms, hiding behind walls of fear, distrust, anger and shame.
These places of darkness are not the dwelling place of the Lord. Nor are they where he wants us to remain, no matter how familiar or comfortable these places may be to us.
Jesus interrupts the pity party the apostles threw for themselves in the upper room and confronts their fear with his peace and their doubt with his truth. He breathes new life into their wearied souls and emboldens them to go forth from the upper room to proclaim the good news of the resurrection.
The entire saga of the Christian life leads us all through the wounds of Christ, who himself already has traveled victoriously through the dark valley of death, preparing a path for us back to the heart of the Father.
The world has resisted the love of God since the fall of Adam and Eve. We have lost our way far too many times to count. We can be thankful we have a God who eternally seeks us out, desiring only to enter into our brokenness to heal our wounded souls.
Once strengthened by his love we, like the apostles, are sent out into the world on a mission of mercy to be bearers of the divine life that has been shared with us.
Father Walter Nolte is pastor of St. Bernard Parish in Omaha. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.