The Easter Vigil (April 15, 2017)

Tonight we join the whole Church in a most sacred celebration -- the wonderful opportunity to experience once again and celebrate the full sweep of God’s saving work among His people.

We began our celebration by accepting once again the light that Jesus brings to our lives as believers. 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, which gained for us so great a redeemer.

Our Scripture readings offered us an opportunity to remember - we have been made in the image and likeness of our God and, like the chosen people of old, coming through the water has saved us. And the prophet Isaiah spoke to us of God’s mercy: “My love will never leave you.”

The Gospel has just announced the great mystery that brings us together tonight: Jesus, the One who was crucified for our sins, is risen. He is alive, among us drawing us into a deeper sharing in His new life.

St. Paul reminded us that God’s saving work continues in our midst. We have been incorporated into his plan of salvation by our baptismal washing which allows us to share in Jesus’ death and rising. 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 further sign of our re-dedication to letting Jesus live in us more fully each day.

Jesus chooses us to be messengers of God’s continuing mercy and love for his people. May our joyful celebration this evening renew us and give us strength for our mission.

Rev. Michael S. Murray, OSFS, is the Executive Director of the De Sales Spirituality Center.