Easter Vigil 2015
On this night the Church takes us back all the way to the creation of the world. We hear the story of creation from the book of Genesis when God first created light. That light comes from the fire of God’s love which warms us, purifies us and enlightens us. It is also for us the light of faith.
From that light we are now able to see ourselves as we truly are, marked with sin and death. We see that we cannot save ourselves, so we reach out to the one who has offered to save us, Jesus Christ. With Jesus’ Bodily resurrection, God the Father has chosen to offer us a new life, which we receive in the waters of Baptism. From those life-giving waters, sin and death have been conquered and we are made children of God by adoption. We become inheritors of the gift of everlasting life and bear of the gift of the Holy Spirit.
On this night, we move from darkness to light, from death to life and from sadness to glory. By the gift of faith we have received we are given a new strength and courage to be witnesses to the saving power of Jesus Christ which fills of with a deeper love and a sure hope that God will not abandon us. You are who Elect are about to receive the greatest possible gift a human being can receive, a new rebirth to a real life and a sharing in the divine life of Jesus Christ.
What is this divine life that you are about to receive? God wishes to take the central place in your heart and reshape your whole life in the shape of the cross. It is by the cross that we are taught the true meaning of God’s love and tonight you are to be given the gift to take that love on you self. It is a love that enables you to worship God with a pure and undivided heart. It is a love that focuses you on the care of others and a dedication to service of God and neighbor in the world. It is a merciful love that turns you to depend on God for all things and seek his forgiveness when you have sinned. Lastly, it is a courageous love by which you are committed to share this pearl of great price, this personal meeting of Jesus Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit with others and with your fellow Christians as a way to encourage others in this life who are lost and seek direction.
You have sought the Lord and tonight you are told in Mark’s Gospel that he is alive. He has been raised from the dead and brings the whole into new relationship with God the Father. You have found him in his Mystical Body the Church, of which you are about to become a member. You will share with us the Body and Blood of the Lord and the manifold gifts of the Holy Spirit.
You serve not only as a witness to the world of the saving power of God in your life, you serve also as a witness to us “old-timers.” You know that the Christian life is one that is filled not only with great joys and loves, but also with great sacrifices. We live in the world in which the Christian faith is mocked and persecuted and our brothers and sisters are being killed for simply professing and living the Christian faith. You faith renews ours and your zeal reminds us of the fire of a vibrant and spirit filled life. We welcome you to the banquet of the Lord and the way of his glory. As you become sharers in the resurrection and new life of Christ tonight, do not have fear. The love of God you receive in the waters of rebirth and confession of faith will remove your doubts and bring a whole new life to your soul.