Homily for Easter Vigil year C 2013
Tonight is the night of all nights. Tonight we celebrate our salvation. Tonight we remember and re-live that momentous event in our salvation history when our God has shown us that there is an end to sin and to death through the resurrection of his Son Jesus Christ from the dead. This calls for our celebration because this shows us that God has given us not only another chance to live but really he has given us a new life. So to celebrate this, we have taken parts in all the rituals for this Easter vigil. We have done this by making ourselves available to become symbols and concrete expressions of being saved by Christ. We lit the Easter candle, the light of Christ, which points out to us that through Christ the darkness (of our sins and of our world) has come to an end. From that light of Christ we also lit our own candles and that tells us that we allow Christ to be our source of light and nothing or no one else. We would express this in a more concrete way later when we renew our baptismal promises. We have also heard the series of readings (both from Old and New Testaments) which are particularly organized for this Easter Night, recalling the history of our salvation, and our journey with God from creation to our redemption. We have also with us tonight, people who are going to be baptised, confirmed and receive the Holy Eucharist for the first time. These new members of our Church tell us that indeed tonight we are celebrating a new chapter in our life, a life with Christ. So we have all this fuzz if you like, because Christ, our Saviour, our Messiah, our God has risen from the dead. It is worth celebrating and rejoicing because Christ’s rising from the dead gives us strength and gives us hope that Good Friday is not the end of it all, but only a necessary component for the day of Resurrection. The resurrection of Jesus tells us that suffering is not and should not be what characterizes our being a Christian, but our being an Easter people.
We therefore are called Easter people. And we are called to live this out in our lives. We have to take the challenge to show it in our faces that we are worth dying for as to what Jesus has done for us.
Being Easter people, we need to put an end to our search for the living among the dead. This means that we stop looking for Jesus Christ among the dead. He is not there anymore, he is risen. He can now be found among the living, in each one of us. And to see the risen and the living Jesus we need to stop searching him from among the dead and/or deadly things such as atheism, materialism, greed, envy, pride, self-righteousness, selfishness, etc. This means we need to see Christ in others by looking at one another through the eyes of Christ whose eyes looked beyond the physical features, who sees the sinner over the sins, who looks at the person over what he/she has done or has failed to do, and loves the person no matter how much it cost him and no matter what it takes, even death.
Being Easter people also means we need to bring the good news to others, like the women in our gospel for tonight. How can we do this? We need only look at how Jesus Christ did it. He stood on his principle of love, forgiveness, justice, compassion, and mercy. He came to serve, not to be served. He taught and spoke of the truth even if it was a big risk to take for him. He was constantly in touch with his Father in prayer and in solitude thus making him for firm and strong in obeying the will of his Father. He dined with sinners and didn’t discriminate. He loved the unlovable. He touched the untouchables. Lastly, he lay down his life for his friends.
So tonight as we receive the Lord in the Eucharist, let us thank him in the silence of our hearts for loving us, for making us feel special and worth dying for, for allowing us to experience a new life again, and for showing us that if we persevere till the end even if we have to suffer for the sake of truth, justice, love and peace, there is resurrection awaiting for us after all.
May this Easter season be a happy, holy and a wonderful celebration for each one of us. May Christ be truly alive in our hearts.