(Easter Prayer of the Church):
Today's prayer begins:
Father, you give your Church constant growth
by adding new members to your family.
This immediately calls to mind the thousands of people around the world who were baptized, received into full communion, or confirmed at the Easter Vigil. But notice the language of the prayer and the dynamic that it points out.
The first line is universal: it is the Church that receives constant growth. But the second line is very personal: new members are added, one by one, not to an institution or an organization, but to God's own family. Each of these people heard God's call in some way: but then met the people of God in a local parish, and studied, prayed and searched alongside those people. At the Easter Vigil, these new members were touched and prayed over and sealed into the local family of the Church. The message is clear: salvation is not about the individual and Christ, it is about the whole family that is gathered around Christ.