Reflection for Saturday, March 26, 2016: Easter Vigil.
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I'm a little overwhelmed to be writing about Easter Vigil. As a convert, I grew up going to church on Easter morning, and even now I still tend to go to Easter morning Mass because it feels more like Easter to me. I converted at Advent instead of Easter, so I did not convert at Easter Vigil, though I know many people do. Vigil Mass is so big, so long: encompassing. I feel overwhelmed going to Vigil Mass, and I don't know that I feel qualified to write about it. But I'm going to try.|I think I should feel in awe by the Vigil. I think we all should. It's the holiest evening of the year. It is the whole of the Mass, the whole of the church year, the history of the faith, the alpha and the omega.|It starts with the creation and ends with the resurrection. We see our history with God from the very beginning, when God created the heavens and the earth and made people in his image after his likeness. And then the psalm reminds us that creation continues. It's not like god created everything and then left, he continues to create. He sends out his spirit now and renews the face of the earth. At springtime, at Easter, here in this part of North America, we are reminded again that creation continues. Flowers are blooming in my yard and on campus this week. Last week the earth seemed lifeless, and this week it is in bloom. Creation continues every day. And every Easter we renew our faith, renew our vows to God and the church and ourselves. The earth is full of the goodness of God.|We can't rest on our creation either. We need to be attentive to God and our faith. We should be ready to sacrifice like God is ready to sacrifice. Abraham was ready to sacrifice his son, and God does sacrifice his only son to save us. Abraham did not withhold his son and was ready to give him back to God. God does not hold back on us. He gives his son to guide us and to redeem us. And God is with us in our time of need. He is there for his faithful. He parted the Red Sea to save the Israelites from the Egyptians. God rescued the Israelites, and continues to rescue his faithful today. We are saved through Jesus, and as we wait for his resurrection, it is our resurrection too. Because he rises, we can rise. Because we were created in God's image and likeness, like him, through Jesus, we can attain heaven. He is our savior, our redeemer. He is the water we thirst for, the food that will fill us. He is life.|When we were baptized into Christ (and we renew our baptism tonight) we were baptized into life, and also into his death. We share in his life and his death and his resurrection. At baptism we die to our old ways, die to our old selves, and then we can become new. We die to sin and live in God. Sharing in his life and his death, we can share in his resurrection. Through our baptism we can gain life everlasting. We wait for the resurrection now. We wait to see the empty tomb that means death is no more. The empty tomb means when we share in Christ's death we will also share in his life.|In this one night we relive our history. We acknowledge creation, made in God's likeness. We reassert our own baptism. We review the history of our faith. The God who made us all gave us his son to save us. Through his life we live. Through his resurrection, we live forever.
University Ministry, Creighton University.
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