Digital/Social Media Coordinator
KANSAS CITY — The seven Old Testament readings and several psalms preceding the Gospel at the Easter Vigil can be thought of as “setting the table,” Bishop James V. Johnston, Jr. reminded congregants in his Easter Vigil homily at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Kansas City.
“In fact, that is how we should always read the Old Testament—that in some way it is preparing the world for Jesus its Savior and the work of salvation He would accomplish in His death and Resurrection,” said Bishop Johnston.
He also said that Christ immersed himself in our condition and took upon our sins and death to lift us out of them, and by baptism we are “plunging into his death” so that “we also rise into a new life in Him”.
“Because Baptism is so important for our salvation, it is important to review the effects of Baptism,” Bishop Johnston explained.
“There are five: Baptism takes away original sin and any actual sin the person has committed; it remits all punishment due to sin, both temporal and eternal; it clothes the soul with sanctifying grace, infusing the person with the life of the Holy Trinity; makes the baptized person a child of God, an heir of heaven, a member of the Church, and gives the person the right to receive the other sacraments and gain the other blessings that come through the Church; and finally, it imprints a character, or a spiritual mark, on the soul, which marks the person as child of God, and a co-heir with Christ.”
Baptism importantly prepares us to enter into the other sacraments and most importantly the ‘source and summit’ of Christian life, the Eucharist.
“The Old Testament set the table for the coming of Christ the Light, into our world; he has established His kingdom in this world,” Johnston said. “For those who enter it, there is a banquet at which we may already sit down: it is the Eucharist. This is what sustains the children of Light along the journey through the night—it is a foretaste of things to come when the eternal day dawns and we arrive at our Father’s house in Heaven.”