Saturday, April 8, 2023
by Fr. David M. Knight
View readings for today:
The themes of the Easter Vigil are light, word, water and commitment to the risen life. The Responsorial that sums up all the readings is simply: “Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia” (PSALM 118).
The Light Service begins in darkness. We kindle and bless the new fire, symbol of the new light of Christ that dispels the darkness of all ages. We inscribe in the Easter candle the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet, Alpha and Omega, to say Christ is “the beginning and the end,” and the number of the current year to say, “All time belongs to him, and all ages.” Then we light the Easter candle from the new fire, and the candles of all present from the Easter candle, symbol of Christ. We sing the Exsultet (Easter Proclamation), celebrating the victory of Christ over all darkness and division. As disciples we draw light from Christ, to shine as the “light of the world” (MATTHEW 5:14).
The Liturgy of the Word is light made audible. Seven readings proclaim: 1. creation; 2. the covenant with Abraham; 3. the exodus from Egypt with Moses; 4. God’s fidelity and spousal love for his people; 5. the abundant blessing and fruitfulness of God’s word; 6. the wisdom, and secure guidance of God’s word; and 7. God’s promise to re-create our hearts by the gift of his Spirit.
Romans 6: 3-11 presents Baptism as the mystery of our dying and rising in Christ to live “in newness of life.”
In Matthew 28: 1-10 (YEAR A) Jesus tells the disciples not to look for him by going back to the empty tomb, but by going ahead to Galilee: “He is going before you.” We will meet the risen Jesus by recognizing him alive and active in ourselves and others, looking for him in our daily lives, listening for his voice in our thoughts, discerning his action in what we feel and experience.
The Liturgy of Baptism begins by celebrating the presence of the risen Jesus in the saints alive in heaven, as we shall be. Christ has overcome death.
The Blessing of the Water reminds us that: water was the matrix of life at creation; through water God “made an end of sin and a new beginning of goodness” by the great flood; by the waters of the Red Sea God delivered us from slavery and set us free; in the waters of the Jordan Jesus was “baptized and anointed with the Spirit”; from the blood and water that flowed from Christ’s side on the cross the Church was born — and the waters of Baptism do all of these things for us. Then we renew our Baptismal promises, recommitting to live out our Baptism with faith. We absorb it all as disciples.
Initiative: Be a disciple. Renew your Baptismal promises during the Easter Vigil as a conscious commitment to learn to live as the risen Jesus by persevering discipleship.
Reflections brought to you by the Immersed in Christ Ministry