When I saw the movie Breakthrough I gasped at the moment the three boys fell through the ice. The next few minutes were harrowing and horrifying, as the one boy descended into the dark water. Later I reflected on the deep plunge the neophytes took at the Easter Vigil. They willingly died with Christ in order to be raised with Him.

            The ritual of baptism buried the neophytes with Christ. As happened in the harrowing of hell, Christ grasped their hands and pulled them out. For all of us who are baptized, our hope is in Christ. Jesus broke the chains of death and descended among the dead. In his victory, we are risen. May we always accept the outstretched hand of God.

Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection are bound up with the mystery of the Incarnation. It was the Incarnation which began Christ’s kenosis, his self-emptying when he left heaven for earth. His death fulfills kenosis when his emptying became complete. By dying, Jesus rejoins the Father, sits at His right hand, and sends the Spirit. Our baptism unites us with Christ’s death and resurrection in the mystery of our salvation. We are also thus united with Christ’s incarnation, to be fulfilled when all things are put beneath Christ’s feet and Christ becomes head over all.