Saturday of the Thirty-third week in Ordinary Time
Birth into the new creation
“Baptized into Christ Jesus, we were baptized into his death. We were indeed buried with him through baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might live in newness of life. For if we have grown into union with him through a death like his, we shall also be united with him in the resurrection,” (Rom 6, 3-5). Thus does St Paul clearly show us that our new birth through baptism is the symbol of our resurrection after death. This will be achieved in us through the power of the Spirit, as it is said: “It is sown corruptible; it is raised incorruptible. It is sown dishonorable; it is raised glorious. It is sown weak; it is raised powerful. It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body,” (I Cor 14,42f.). What this means is that, just as our body here below, so long as its soul is present, enjoys a visible life, so it will receive then, in the same way, an eternal and incorruptible life through the power of the Spirit.
The same thing applies to the birth given us in baptism, which is the symbol of our resurrection. Through it we receive grace by the same Spirit, but with moderation and in the form of a token. We will receive it in its fullness when we truly rise and incorruptibility is indeed given to us. That is why, when the apostle Paul speaks of the life to come, he tries to reassure his listeners with these words: “Not only creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, we also groan within ourselves as we wait for the redemption of our bodies,” (Rom 8,23). For if we have received here and now the firstfruits of grace, we expect to receive them in their fullness when the happiness of the resurrection is given to us.
Theodore of Mopsuestia (?-428), Bishop and theologian