The Easter message: the forgiveness of sins

In the Easter Season readings from Acts of the Apostles, we repeatedly find a concise explanation of the Incarnation (God the Son becoming one of us) and of Christ’s life, death and resurrection: the forgiveness of sins.

It’s a great mystery, indeed, how those who believe in Him share in His resurrected life and are made new persons. The newness begins in Baptism through which we die and rise with Christ. In the Eucharist, we join Christ in offering Himself and ourselves to God the Father and become Christ to one another in our daily lives.

Joining Christ in His death and resurrection allows us to begin each day anew. The proverb about not going to bed angry may be good advice for some people, but in spiritual and practical terms for many it might be easier to face and resolve issues deep in our hearts and with our family and friends in the morning, with the freshness of a new day, rather than in the weariness of a long, hard day.

The forgiveness of sins means, at bottom, that our offenses are cleared, not held against us. Sin is not merely “breaking the rules;” it involves disrupting or tearing our relationships to our true self, to our family, our friends, our community, and our world and thereby our relationship with God. Forgiveness of sins provides us the opportunity to heal and restore those bonds.

Healing relationships invariably involves, as we say in the Our Father, forgiving others as we are forgiven.

The Scriptures point to how, through His death and resurrection, Christ restored the relationship of the whole of humanity to God and how it is constantly renewed.

It is truly wonderful, then, that the beginning of every day is an Easter morning.