Many years ago the late +Fr. Bernie Hayes, CR wrote a booklet reflecting on the words of our Resurrection Prayer. During this Easter Season of the Lord’s Resurrection we wanted to share some excerpts from those reflections with you.
O Risen Lord,
the way, the truth and the life,
make us faithful followers
of the spirit of your Resurrection.
Grant that we may be inwardly renewed:
dying to ourselves
in order that you may live in us.
May our lives serve
as signs of the transforming power of your love.
Use us as your instruments
for the renewal of society,
bringing your life and love to all,
and leading them to your Church.
This we ask of you, Lord Jesus,
living and reigning with the Father,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God forever.
"bringing your life and love to all, and leading them to your Church."
I cannot give what I do not have. If I am not willing to undergo the transformation process, the love and the life of Jesus will not live in me. My baptism will be forever an empty ritual. If I refuse to enter the process of growing in the life and love of Jesus and allowing them to grow in me, what is the value of my Eucharist? If my vows and baptismal promises do not call me to become increasingly the sign of faith, hope and love they are meant to signify, then what is their value? All are empty without Jesus. All remain empty without on-going conversion.
To bring I must have, and have in abundance. I cannot give away all the gift, I can only share. Something of the life and love of Jesus must remain with me. Otherwise the only gift I will be able to offer is the gift of my life, my love. That gift may indeed be very worthwhile. But it is not redemptive; not the gift of love transformed by its incorporation into the redeeming life and love of the Risen One.
If my life and love are to lead others to Jesus then Paul’s words must ring true for me: “I live, now not I, but Christ lives in me.” Nothing less than that will lead others unerringly and with deliberation into the kingdom of God.
To the extent that I incarnate the words of Paul and those of the Baptist (“He must increase and I must decrease”) – to that extent I will fulfill my apostolic mandate and become ever more and more authentically, ever more fully a sign of the transforming power of God’s love. What I ‘do” in ministry will then be of less importance than what I “am”.