It is always deeply moving to witness adults being baptized at the Easter Vigil. A significant moment of the rite is the clothing of the newly baptized with the white garment, symbolic of their having put on Christ. In union with them and inspired by them, one renews one's own ongoing commitment to "put on Christ" (Gal 3:27).The fifty days from Easter to Pentecost are, of course, a privileged season for entering more deeply into the Paschal Mystery: of "learning Christ" (Eph 4:20), "having the mind of Christ" (Phil 2:5). Prompted by the recommendation of a friend and by Dan Harrington's view that it is "the best Jesus book I know," I've begun Gerhard Lohfink's Jesus of Nazareth (Liturgical Press).It seems ideal lectio for the season. Deeply informed, passionate, pungent, it can be read in brief meditative sections or chapters at a time. A taste:
The parable [of those invited to the feast: Lk 14:15-24]] is neither about the salvation of individuals nor about joy beyond this world. It is about God's feast with his people, which is to happen now, in the hour of Jesus' appearing. That feast is as much in question today as it was then. Those invited continue to find new excuses to shield themselves from the God who is near and from the gathering of the people of God.For the most part the excuses are honorable. They almost always end with: "I would like to. But at the moment it is not possible." But Jesus' "today" says: you have no more time, because the world is burning down. You have to act now, for you have encountered God's cause. You have to put your whole existence in play, right now -- now, because you have received God's invitation.