Easter Vigil (March 31, 2018)

Tonight we join the whole Church in a most sacred celebration. We are celebrating our thankfulness for the whole history of God’s saving work among His people.

We began our celebration by accepting once again Jesus our Light. In the Easter Proclamation, we sang of our Father’s great care for us - his boundless, merciful love. We even rejoiced over Adam’s sin that gained for us so great a redeemer.

Our Scriptures recounted the wonders of God’s creating word. We joined God’s chosen people as they passed to safety through the waters of the sea. And we heard the words of the prophets who kept the hope of salvation alive among God’s people.

The Gospel has just announced the great mystery that brings us together tonight.

The waiting is over: salvation and redemption have come. Jesus, the One who was crucified for our sins, is risen. He is alive, among us.

St. Paul reminds us that we have been joined to Jesus’ death and resurrection through the waters of our baptism. As a result, we are slaves to sin no longer.

We have been made new, alive for God in Christ Jesus.

In a moment, we will renew our baptismal promises together -- a sign of our re-dedication to letting Jesus live in us more fully.

Then as our celebration continues, we will experience in sacrament the renewal of Jesus’ death for us: his body broken and his blood poured out for us. And we will receive his body and blood as food for our continuing journey with him.

At the end of our liturgy of thanksgiving, we will be sent forth as messengers of God’s continuing mercy and love for his people. May our celebration this evening renew us and give us strength for our mission.