Homily for Easter Vigil, Year A,B & C

What A Wonderful Night: Christ the Lord is Risen, Alleluia, Alleluia!

Rdgs: (1st: Gen 1, 1-31. 2, 1-2; Ps 115; 2nd: Rom 6, 3-11: Gos: Mk 16, 1-7)

This brief reflection was written by Rev. Fr. Njoku Canice Chukwuemeka, C.S.Sp. He is a Catholic Priest and a Member of the Congregation of the Holy Ghost Fathers and Brothers (Spiritans). He is currently working at the Sanctuario del Espiritu Santo, en Dorado, Puerto Rico, del Internacional Grupo Espiritano De Puerto Rico – Republica Dominicana. For more details and comments contact him on: canice_c_njoku@yahoo.com, canicechukwuemeka@gmail.com 

Most times we associate night with evil, but forget that it is part of God’s design. Most importantly, we forget that “…God saw that everything he created was good” (Gen 1, 31). In spite of our conclusion, there is one night we cannot deny the fact of its goodness. It is this night of Easter. It is unique among all other nights because it is a night of victory, liberation, freedom, healing and the climax of the history of our salvation. The simplest way to capture and summarize the event of this night is by reflecting deeply on these words of the Exultet which we heard this night. “…This is the night when the pillar of fire destroyed the darkness of sin. This is the night when Christians everywhere are washed clean of sin,  freed from all defilement, are restored to grace and, grow together in holiness. This is the night when Jesus Christ broke the chains of death and rose triumphant from the grave…”

A couple of weeks ago we started what looked like a hopeless, unending and sorrowful journey. But this night we have come to a joyful end of that journey. A journey that began sorrowfully has ended joyfully. The gloomy cloud has eventually given way to the bright sky, and light has eventually overcome darkness. The thickness and darkness of the night could not withstand the brightness of the risen Christ. Therefore, we must shout, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia to the Lord because our Lord Jesus Christ has fulfillment of his promise: “I will rise on the third day.” So, the battle is over and Jesus is Lord!  So brethren, Let us rejoice and shout Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia because the Lord has completely won the battle.

By his resurrection this Easter night, Jesus makes a very important statement. This is the fact that, he is the Lord of the living and the dead and that he has the power to liberate and heal us. We have died with him through our Lenten observances. Let us also rise with him through the power of the Holy Spirit. That same power that resurrected him is capable of resurrecting our fallen and weak bodies this night (Rom 8, 11-12). This night, a new epoch has completely began because the historical Jesus, who suffered, cried, was crucified, died and was buried is now the glorified messiah who lives to die no more. Therefore the cause of our joy this night is that, we all share in this glory.  From this night onwards, our testimony as his disciples must be: “I saw Christ’s glory as he rose. Christ my hope has risen!” Also like the apostles, our duty now is to bear testimony to the risen Lord: “Now we are his witnesses, we have eaten and drank with him after his resurrection from the dead…”

From this night on we must no longer seek Christ in the grave because he is no longer there. So we must seek him among the living. We must seek the things of light, the things that are noble and things that glorify God. We must seek heavenly things by living like candidate of heaven. This is what Paul means when he says: “Since you have been brought back to true life with Christ, you must look for the things that are in heaven, where Christ is…” Let us therefore sing with the Psalmist on this glorious day of Easter: “This day was made by the Lord; we rejoice and are glad. Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!

Peace be with you all!!


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