The resurrection of Christ which stands as guarantee for our own resurrection from the dead brings to mind again the vision of the valley of dry bones that the Prophet Ezekiel had in Ez. 37:1-28. Everything in the valley was dead, the bones of all the people who had died lying in the valley had been bleached by the elements, sun and rain, over time. When Ezekiel was asked whether the bones could live again, the response of Ezekiel was that of faith. He simply said that only God knows what can happen or not. In that way, he showed trust in God that God could do whatever he wished. Even what appears impossible can be made possible by God if He wished to. He also made himself available to God to carry out the action needed in order that the bones would come to life. So, God asked him to prophesy and he did.
Indeed, by the power of God, the valley of dry bones became a place of living beings, all the dry bones came to life again. That vision of Ezekiel was a prophecy that was directed at the nation of Israel, that it would rise again from slavery in the land of their exile into restoration and freedom in their own land. So, it did happen. But that prophecy is also about us, the new people of Israel. All the dry bones in our lives would come to life again through Christ our Lord. As the dry bones came back to life and as Jesus came back to life at his resurrection, so shall all the aspects of our lives that are dead and are looking impossible come back to life again through Christ our Lord. Whatever may be dead in our lives: whether it is in our work or business, whether it is in our relationships or in the concerns over our children and the future, we pray that God would make them live again.
The resurrection of Christ gives us hope that not only our spiritual lives but also the material and mundane areas of our lives as individuals and as a country shall rise again. All that is required is that we behave like Ezekiel; have faith that God is able and then do whatever he requires us to do, follow his instructions. We renewed our baptismal promises at the Easter Mass. We renounced Satan and all his works and all his empty promises, we renounced sin. We professed our faith in God the Father Almighty Creator of heaven and earth, in Jesus Christ his only-begotten Son, in the Holy Spirit and in the Holy Catholic Church; we expressed our faith in the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sin, the resurrection of the Body and life everlasting. We must keep these promises in view all the time because keeping or not keeping them determines whether we are at right standing with God or not. Whenever we renew our baptismal promises, let us do so deliberately, meaning every word that we say and making a resolution to keep them.
• Most Rev. (Dr.) Alfred Adewale Martins, Archbishop of the Metropolitan See of Lagos.
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