Saturday, April 3, 2010

Vigil Of The Resurrection Of Our Lord.

The Easter Vigil is a celebration of life.

1. It begins with the story of creation: Out of nothing, God made everything, and breathed life into all living things. Then, God looked at all that he had made, and found that it was very good.
God’s creation and conservation of the universe he has made continues. Made in the image of God, are partners in this work, stewards to take care of all that makes up this planet, in particular, all living beings. Made in the likeness of the Creator, we are also called to be life givers, and life preservers. One writer has called this the “Original Blessing”, the gift of creation which precedes the failure of human beings to respond, and the disasters which have been visited on the human race ever since.

2. It continues with the story of the Exodus, the great event in which God’s people are brought out of the half-life of slaver to the fullness of life and of freedom. We no longer need to be slaves since we are God’s chosen people. Yet, many of us remain enslaved to habits and desires. The liberation of the children of Israel from Egypt is an event commemorated and celebrated to this day by the Jewish people at the Passover. We are also God’s chosen people, and we can join our celebration with theirs at this time.

3. It is, in fact, no mere coincidence that the events we celebrate during this week coincide with the Paschal Feast of Passover. Through Jesus, Lamb of God, we have been granted the opportunity to pass from the slavery of sin and all the destructive elements of life to a new life freedom. As the crucified Jesus breaks the bonds of death in glorious resurrection, he opens the gates of life for us as well. “I AM the Resurrection and the Life.” “I have come that they might have life, and have it to the full.” “I am the Way; the Truth and the Life.”

4. This evening is the special time for catechumens to become full members of our community by being baptized into Christ Jesus. It is a time of special joy for them, and for all of us. It is also a time for us to reflect on the meaning and the effectiveness of Baptism in our own lives right now.

Our Baptism and Confirmation and our sharing in the Eucharistic feast are signs of our participation in the outpouring of life and love which we celebrate in this holy night. Going down into the waters is dying to the ways of sin and evil. Coming up from the waters is a rising to the life God wants us to experience and to possess. Baptism and Confirmation are an ongoing reality reflected in the way we live out the Good News of the gospel from day to day.

5. Now that we have completed our Lenten observance, let us renew the promises we made in baptism, when we rejected Satan and all his works, and promised to serve God faithfully in his Holy Church.
Do you reject sin, so as to live in the freedom of God’s children?
I do.
Do you reject the glamor of evil, and refuse to be mastered by sin?
I do.
Do you reject Satan, father of sin and prince of darkness?
I do.
Do you believe in God, the Father Almighty, creator of heaven and earth?
I do.
Do you believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,
who was born of the Virgin Mary, was crucified, died and was buried, rose from the dead,
and is now seated at the right hand of the Father?
I do.
Do you believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting?
I do.

This is our faith; this is the faith of the Church; we are proud to profess it
through the risen Christ our Lord.

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