From death to life

Daily Reading for April 16 • Thursday in Easter Week

By the observance of these forty days, we have wanted to devote ourselves to this, namely, that we should know something about the Cross in this season of our Lord’s Passion. Consequently, we must try very hard also to be found companions of Christ’s Resurrection, moving from death to life while we are in this body. For any who have been changed from one thing to another by some conversion, there comes an end (in ceasing to be what they were), and there comes a beginning (in becoming what they were not). Yet it makes a difference for whom one dies or lives, since there is a death which brings life and a life which brings death. . . .

We must rejoice a great deal over this transformation by which we are taken from earthly coarseness to heavenly dignity through that ineffable mercy of the one who descended to our state in order to lift us up to his.

A sermon for the Holy Saturday Vigil by Leo the Great, quoted in The Fathers of the Church: St. Leo the Great, Sermons, translated by Jane Patricia Freeland, C.S.J.B. and Agnes Josephine Conway, S.S.J. (Washington, D.C.: The Catholic University of America Press, 1996).

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