Today is the Vigil of Easter. Tonight our churches will be cast into darkness only to be engulfed by the Light of Christ who is raised from the tomb and, in doing so, has conquered death for all humanity. Lumen Christi! Deo gratias!
“Sisters and brothers, because of Jesus’ death and Resurrection we are able to be reborn in Baptism, become members of his Body, the Church, and so be graced into new life leading to Heaven,” says Bishop Earl Boyea in his Holy Week meditation for today, April 3.
“That is worth an “Alleluia” or two. So, shout it out. The end of our pilgrimage with Jesus is in sight. Let us put on Christ and so share in his glory.” The full text of Bishop Boyea’s meditation is reproduced below.
Bishop Boyea’s Seven Days of Holy Week, Saturday , the Vigil of Easter, April 3, 2021:
“Something strange is happening—there is a great silence on earth today, a great silence and stillness. The whole earth keeps silence because the King is asleep” (Ancient Holy Saturday Homily).
There is always something a bit eerie about Holy Saturday with no real liturgical celebrations during the day. Rather, we move from silence to the proclamation of “Alleluia” in the evening; the stillness of the tomb gives way to “He is risen; He is truly risen!”
This journey all week long has moved us from darkness to light, from death to life. Light thus plays a great role in this vigil celebration—the new fire, the Easter candle, the sung Exultet. Let there be light has become Jesus is the light has become we are to be light.
The next day, Easter Sunday, Jesus appeared to the disciples on their way to Emmaus. They were distraught. For them the cross had been an overwhelming reality. Jesus walks with them and opens the Scriptures and then breaks the bread. In that moment, the Resurrection became an overwhelming reality. He really died on the cross. And he did not come back to life; rather he came into new life, body and soul.
So, our vigil then takes us through the Scriptures, to open our minds and hearts to see that they really spoke of Jesus. Very few parishes go through all seven Old Testament texts, but they are given us to see that Jesus is the Word of God contained in the Word of God.
Baptism then becomes the key moment in our celebration. We are baptized into Christ’s death and in his Resurrection we come to “live in newness of life” (Romans 6:4). We become light. We become Jesus. All is now new. The cosmos is new. Our world is new. We are new.
Sisters and brothers, because of Jesus’ death and Resurrection we are able to be reborn in Baptism, become members of his Body, the Church, and so be graced into new life leading to Heaven. That is worth an “Alleluia” or two. So, shout it out. The end of our pilgrimage with Jesus is in sight. Let us put on Christ and so share in his glory.