Homily For Easter Vigil

Christ Our Hope Has Risen, Alleluia!

Readings 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 with the Spiritan International Group of Puerto Rico &  Dominican Republic. He is the Administrator of Parroquia La Resurrección del Senor, Canovanas and the Chancellor of the Dioceses of Fajardo-Humacao, Puerto Rico. For more details and comments contact him on:  canice_c_njoku@yahoo.com, canicechukwuemeka@gmail.com.

At times, we associate night with evil. In thinking this way, we seem to forget that “…God saw that everything he created was good” (Gen 1, 31). In spite of this, there is one night we cannot deny that it is good. 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 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, sorrowful and long journey. This night we have overcome. A journey that began sorrowfully has ended joyfully. The light of the risen Lord has eventually overcome the darkness of Satan. We rejoice, because our Christ has fulfilled his promise: “I will rise on the third day.” The battle is over, and Jesus is Lord!  So, let us sing Alleluia because the Lord has completely won the battle.

The miracle of Christ’s Resurrección completely changes the history of humanity. It changes our history because, it changes the meaning of the existence of all who believe in Christ. Through his resurrection, Jesus makes a very important statement. First, that he is the Lord of the living and the dead.

This night, a new era has completely begun because the historical Jesus, who suffered, was crucified, and died is now the glorified messiah. The cause of our joy this night is that we all share in this glory.  From this night, our testimony as his disciples must be: “We saw Christ’s glory as he rose. Christ our hope has risen!”

From this night on, we must no longer look for Christ in the grave because he is no longer there. So, we must seek him among the living. We must seek Him in the light. We must seek him in all that is true. Let us seek him in all things that are noble, and in all things that give glory to God.

Finally, the Resurrección of Christ is an invitation to transform our existence, so that our words and works may continue making ways that lead to the kingdom of God. It is also an invitation to be vehicles of inspiration and transformation to our community. Through our Lantern observances and sacrifices, we died with Christ. So, the same power that resurrected Christ from the dead, has resurrected our weak bodies this night (Rom 8, 11-12).

Peace be with you all!

Maranatha!

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