the prophecy which is the purpose of life
"I will sprinkle clean water upon you." —Ezekiel 36:25
The Lord promised through the prophet Ezekiel: "I will sprinkle clean water upon you to cleanse you from all your impurities, and from all your idols I will cleanse you" (Ez 36:25). The Lord promised us a total purification far beyond any purification ever attempted. This purification will be part of a change of human nature. We can be born again (see Jn 3:3, 5). The Lord promised: "I will give you a new heart and place a new spirit within you, taking from your bodies your stony hearts and giving you natural hearts" (Ez 36:26). Our new nature will not only be new, but we will even be made sharers in the divine nature (2 Pt 1:4). The Lord then suggested that He would live within us. He promised: "I will put My Spirit within you and make you live by My statutes" (Ez 36:27). Through our Baptism, we will live in the Holy Trinity and the Trinity will live in us (see Jn 17:23).
The purpose of life is to receive the fulfillment of Ezekiel's prophecy in today's first eucharistic reading. The purpose of life is to receive a new nature, to be born again by Baptism into Jesus, and to live that Baptism in total commitment to Jesus.
Let us thank the Lord always for the new birth in Baptism and the life of faith and faithfulness to the Lord. Let us love people enough to tell as many as possible about the purpose of life. "Praised be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, He Who in His great mercy gave us new birth" (1 Pt 1:3).
Prayer: Father, send me the Holy Spirit to teach me the radical newness of my baptized life in Jesus (see Lay Members of Christ's Faithful People, Pope John Paul II, 10).
Promise: "The invited are many, the elect are few." —Mt 22:14
Praise: St. John lived out his new nature not only in his preaching zealously the Good News, but in the way he lovingly cared for the sick during epidemic outbreaks.
Reference: (For related teaching, order our tape Baptism on audio AV 1A–1 or video V-1A.)
Nihil Obstat: Reverend Richard L. Klug, January 16, 2004
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, January 26, 2004