In New Wine Wednesday

By Carol Younger

 

Image by pixel2013 from Pixabay

 

Easter’s here! You’d think that the world would just open like Jesus’ tomb, the world would come to believe, and real peace would break out everywhere!  I mean, women ran back to tell the Apostles about the angels; why wasn’t the whole world on board with salvation, redemption and all? 

Well, maybe because good news doesn’t sell when cost is attached. Salvation’s catch: participation.  Conversion of hearts, not just believing one man died for the people, then rose alive.  

Severe persecution breaks out in Jerusalem. Stephen is martyred; Saul is searching house to house crushing Christians. Apostles and Christians scatter, and Philip goes to Samaria.  His heart converted, he preaches Christ. Samaritans convert! Sounds just like today! Some persecute, some convert, all over the world.

The Choices of Easter

Easter presents choice: faith and conversion, living the kingdom in an unconverted world to convert the world – or not… Who would have thought? All hearts need conversion, mine included.

So I ask myself: Where can I cast out from my life the paralysis and handicaps (Acts 8:7) due to lack of action? How can I remove “little” sins? How do I convert myself to Christ, thus converting others? In a single question, what must I do to preserve the joy of Easter?

Answers are all in today’s Psalm: Sing praise, worship, continue to rejoice by living and proclaiming Christ in my newly-converted Easter participation lifestyle. Whatever I did for Lent, before Easter, that I must continue. I chose, at some cost, to get to Mass during the week more often.

Living the Easter Life

If I wish continuing conversion to the Bread of Life, which Jesus proclaims in today’s Gospel, I must continue that public witness. What did I sacrifice for holiness in Lent? That very thing I must continue in the Easter life I’m living.  How about a single, monthly Friday abstinence?

Slowly, relentlessly, believing Jesus “should not lose anything” (John 6:39) of what the Father gave Him, I can convert, choose salvation as a lifestyle.  Today, those … scattered went about preaching the word (Acts 8:4).  If I choose to preach and participate in the world’s salvation, I must live a holy lifestyle.

Continue Rejoicing

And, I can’t do it alone. I need your prayers; you need mine. Let us pray for one another. Isolated, we’re paralyzed. Together, even just two or three, Christ is among us. Help me. I promise to help you. Continue rejoicing; let’s pray together (Psalm 66:4-5):

Let all on earth worship and sing praise to you,
sing praise to your name!”
Come and see the works of God,
his tremendous deeds among the children of Adam.

 

About the author:

Dr. Carol Younger – A Senior Fellow for the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology, Advisory Board Member for the Great Adventure Bible Studies, author of Listening and Study Guides for biblical and theological presentations through St. Joseph Communications, author of the Retreat Companion for 33 Days to Morning Glory through Marian Press. An accomplished leader in public and private education and a popular adjunct professor at an evangelical Christian university in Southern California. Active in many parish ministries, including RCIA and Catechetical training.

Showing 6 comments
  • Gwen
    Reply

    Thank you for this amazing article, Dr. Younger! I will keep you in my prayers. I’m, also, thankful that you will be praying for me. Everything you wrote is so very true. Our world, including me, needs conversion; not just on Easter Sunday. God bless you!

  • Mary Danner
    Reply

    Thank you, Carol. How thought provoking are your words. We must continue to carry the Easter joy out to all people while being reminded that we must continually seek our own conversion of heart and mind. Blessings to you!

  • Sharon Wilson
    Reply

    Thank you Carol. Your words of wisdom resonates with me.

  • Ruth
    Reply

    Thank you. You have given me encouragement to continue to grow and to share.

  • Mary
    Reply

    Amen, Carol! Thank you for the great idea to continue my Lent practices, as have been struggling with since Easter. I will pray for you-thank you for praying for me! As St. John Paul ll said :” We are an Eater people, and alleluia is our song!”

  • Mary Kim
    Reply

    Carol, You are a gift to me. You are in my prayers.
    Thank you for having me in yours.

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