“… A new birth to a living hope.” (1 Peter 1:3)
“Yes,” your doctor says. “The test results confirm it. You are pregnant.” The excitement you feel on hearing these words is indescribable. You’re having your first child!
As the months progress, you find yourself focusing less on yourself and more on the little person you are carrying. It’s all about the baby now. At fleeting moments you may think about the pain of childbirth or the nighttime feedings or the other ways your life will change. But these thoughts never last long. Why? Because you are looking forward in anticipation to the miracle of a new child. Someone new will come into your life——a completely new person created by God and conceived in love.
In today’s first reading, St. Peter speaks of another birth——a spiritual birth into Jesus’ own death and resurrection. It’s a birth into a “living hope” and “an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading” (1 Peter 1:3,4). It’s the birth of an eternal, heavenly life in our own mortal hearts, the birth of a new relationship with Almighty God, and the birth of a new identity for us: child of God and coheir with Christ.
So here’s a question: If the coming birth of a new child fills us with joy and eager expectation, why does the world often look at the spiritual life as a list of chores? It can be easy for anyone with a worldly philosophy to reduce this new life to a matter of obeying commandments, fitting in prayer times, and avoiding condemnation.
Don’t let that happen to you! God has called you to share in his glory. Eye has not seen, and ear has not heard, and human minds have not conceived all the wonders that your heavenly Father has in store for you. And these wonders are not meant just for heaven. Even today, your heart can be filled with love. Right now, you can lay your burdens at the feet of the Lord. All this week, you can move in confidence and peace, knowing that your Redeemer is with you always.
We have so much to rejoice in, because our God is faithful and loving and true!
“Father, I praise you for your great mercy! Your salvation leaves me filled with awe!”