John 1:14

Easter Vigil Homily 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin at 8:31 am on Saturday, April 19, 2014

Easter Vigil 2014

          When you were little and taking a car trip with your parents, a question you probably asked several time was “Are we there yet?” We can’t wait to get to where we are going. But as we get older, we begin to see that reaching our desired destination requires that we take the right roads and have enough gasoline to make the trip. Everything we experience along the way prepares us for what we see when we get there.

          This night is similar. We have been on the road for forty days of prayer, fasting and almsgiving, preparing our hearts and soul to meet the one whom we have been waiting to see, namely Jesus Christ. This road has been more interior than exterior, more of the heart. Before we arrive, we look back to all the events that brought us here: The creation of the world and the human race, the fall of man into sin and the liberation from slavery, the promise of God to save us and strengthen us that we can reach that ultimate goal of heavenly life with him. It is quite a long journey, and tonight, we stop pick up some more people to accompany us.

          The people who join us tonight are those who had walked a different path and taken a different road. They have heard the Risen Lord call to their hearts and offer them a new way, a brighter way, and a holy way. It is a way that will include the cross, it is way that includes struggles. But it is also a path in which we do not walk alone.

          The men, women and children who join us tonight through the waters of rebirth, the profession of faith and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, have a whole new world opened for them. It is the world of the new life of Christ and the guiding strength of the Holy Spirit. As the Church, we ask God to pour out on them all that he has given to us, wise and loving hearts, a strong faith, and a courage to be a living witness to the saving power of Jesus Christ to all around them. They are fed for the first time with the Bread of life and the Blood of salvation.

          Over these last forty days, and for many of them, even longer, they have asked Jesus Christ to show them his face, and they have come to meet him both in his Word and in the Teaching of the Apostles. They have learned that taking on a new life requires a surrendering of their old ways, turning from sin and selfishness so that the grace and generosity of God may fill them up. Tonight their education takes another step, as the Holy Spirit speaks to their hearts through the power of the sacraments and unites them to Jesus Christ in a deeper way. The Holy Spirit turns on the lights and brightens them, so that they leave here different form how they came.

          But tonight is not just about bringing new people into the family. It has much to teach us who have already been on the road a long time. We, old-timers need to remember why we started this path. We have hit a few potholes in life and pulled off the road a few times. Jesus reminds us tonight that just because the road is rough does not mean that we are on the wrong road. The world in which we live is a bumpy place and the ride is not pleasant sometimes, but it is still the best and only road to be on. It is the path for which we have been created we have been. WE human beings have a short memory and in the heat of the moment, we wonder out loud to God, “ARE WE THERE YET?  Jesus response to us is two-fold. Yes and no, which is always a good Catholic response.

We are there in the sense that Jesus is really and truly present to us in our hearts by the movements of the Holy Spirit and as we nurture that life, we can begin to see and experience the beauty he has promised us. We see the outline of the heavenly city, through the lighted candles and we smell the fragrant air filled with the incense of the worship of God. We are fed with the Body and Blood of Jesus himself so that our souls will never again know the pain of spiritual hunger. We watch and wait for the Lord tonight so that tomorrow we can start out again with a purer heart and a clearer vision. As we make room for our new members, may we share what we believe with them, and may all of you who enter the Church tonight share with us your love and faith for the Lord.

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