Easter Vigil in the Holy Night of Easter

Our First Reading from Genesis and our Gospel begin essentially the same: on the first day of the week, God said “Let there be light.” And there was light! In the dark maw of the tomb, gaping in shock as much as Satan was that day, there was but shadow: the light was unseen but not unknown by those who knew what it meant. The New Adam has been called forth from the dust of the earth; the rock of the grave has yielded the water of life in the desert; the King has returned to claim His throne in the hearts of those who love Him.

Jesus is risen from the dead.

The women came to be close to their beloved Jesus, to further mourn Him and to properly clean and anoint His body since the Sabbath had passed. Now these handmaids of Jesus meet the immortal attendants of the King of Heaven, and they in turn become angels—messengers of the Lord. “…go quickly and tell his disciples, ‘He has been raised from the dead, and he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him.’” Though they have not seen the sun, they feel the warmth of a greater star dawning in their hearts. The dark abyss of their sorrow is yields to the mighty wind of the Spirit on which is carried the Truth of what has happened.

Jesus is risen from the dead.

And suddenly, that hidden sun appears before them: “And behold, Jesus met them on their way and greeted them.” As the father of the prodigal son could not wait any longer and ran to greet his returning child, Jesus could remain hidden no longer and showed Himself to these first witnesses of His victory over death. These angels of the Gospel are charged again to deliver the message to His brothers for whom the light has not yet come. They are the wise virgins, the torches of their hearts alight with the same fire of Truth that enrobed the Burning Bush in flame but did not consume it. Yet they themselves are consumed, for it is the very Fire of Love, which rekindled the dead ember of the King’s mangled corpse, a Fire that is not interested in bushes and beasts, but human hearts and souls. These women are afire and now go into the world like sparks among dry brush.


April 15th, 2017