There is a Way Out.
Remember Whom you belong to.
Remember Whom you're connected to, as surely as a branch stays connected to a vine in order to grow.
Inside you, under all that dead foliage, Something Green and New is sprouting. You may not see it or feel it yet, but it's there. New Life. It's the beginning of your coming alive inside again.
Christ doesn't want you to remain dead inside. Christ wants you to live in hope that life can change and you can become a new you, find new happiness.
That's the meaning of Baptism, of being baptized into the death of Christ. Christ died, and we all die many little deaths in this life before our final death. We can die inside because of tragedies and betrayals, disappointments, illness. We can feel like we live in hell. All those events bring change into our lives. Change means that some part of us inside us dies.
But - then Christ rose - like we will. And, just like there are many little deaths in our lives, there are also many little resurrections.
Once you're connected to Christ, it is the Risen Christ living inside you, always bringing you new life when you feel dead and useless inside. Even when you don't know at first that it's happening.
Christ says that He is the Vine and we are the branches. If we live united with Christ, one with Him, Christ is always sustaining us as the unique, valuable creations that we are.
Christ loves us. Accepts us. Redeems us. Rejuvenates us. Throughout the seasons of our lives, part of us is always dying and a new us is always rising.
Until we finally eternally rise to new life.
In this ancient homily from an ancient Holy Saturday service, the Risen Christ speaks to our souls:
I order you, O sleeper, to awake!
I did not create you to be held a prisoner in hell.
Rise from the dead, for I am the life of the dead.
Rise up, work of my hands, you were created in my image.
Rise, let us leave this place, for you are in me and I am in you.
Together, we form only one person, and we cannot be separated!
Pray! It's time for you to leave the place of death and rise!!!