Easter Vigil 2013
March 30, 2013
Tonight we hear the story of Salvation History. We hear it in the readings but also in our Exsultet. We are reminded of how Christ is the light of the world in our opening fire, fire that cleanses and brightens the world.
We hear the story of Creation but it is not a story mean to tell how God created. The Creation story is meant to give meaning to our existence.
In the beginning there was nothing but God. God has always existed and will always exist. As the one who is eternal, God created all else. God set about an order to creation. In that order, God created humans beings in his own image.
Thus we can be assured that we are fundamentally good because that is what God is, good.
God put humans at the top of creation, giving the human race dominion over the whole world, a primacy of place.
All that God asks in return is faith.
Abraham serves as an example of faith to us, faith without end. God tells Abraham to sacrifice his son, the son Abraham had waited so long for.
How could God ask Abraham to do such a thing?
Even more amazing though is that Abraham is willing to do it until God stops him.
We must not forget Isaac. Isaac carries the wood for the sacrifice. Isaac asks “where is the sheep?” to which Abraham replies that God will provide the sheep for the sacrifice. Even when Abraham binds Isaac for the sacrifice, Isaac does not resist.
When God stops Abraham from sacrificing Isaac, God does provide a ram for the sacrifice that day and God will provide a lamb for the greatest sacrifice. Abraham does not sacrifice his son but in the end God will sacrifice His Own Son.
We are told the story of the parting of the Red Sea, reminding us of God set the Israelites free from the Egyptians foreshadowing setting us free from sin.
Throughout Salvation History, God is present for his people when they recognize and admit their need for God. All are invited to the water, to receive grain and eat. What is the cost? There is no cost.
Through Isaiah, God speaks of sending His Word, His Word that has been received through the prophets throughout Salvation History.
And it is God’s Word that becomes incarnate for us. Jesus is Son of God and Word incarnate that does not return to God without accomplishing God’s Will.
God’s Will is for all to be saved. Jesus comes to make that possible. He does so in His Crucifixion.
But the Crucifixion alone would seem like a defeat but the Crucifixion is not the final end. This brings us to Easter. After the Crucifixion, Jesus’ body was laid in a tomb. Now, the tomb has been found empty.
The women who find the tomb empty as “puzzled.” How can this be? Has someone stolen the body of Jesus?
Two men appear in dazzling garments appear to the women and tell them that Jesus has been raised.
This is our faith. Jesus, Son of God, Word Incarnate come into the world for us, teaching us what it means to be disciples, giving His life for us on the Cross, making possible our own resurrection.
Again, this is our faith.
In just a few minutes, we will welcome James, Anacheliz, Angel, and Anamarieliz into our faith through Baptism. They will be asked to make the baptismal promises of our faith tonight.
We will receive John and Theodore into Full Communion in the Catholic Church. Having already been baptized, they will attest to our faith.
We will renew our own baptismal promises. We promise to reject Satan and all evil. We acknowledge our faith in God as Father, in Jesus Christ who died and rose for us, and in the Holy Spirit.
Our Catholic faith teaches much. It is not always an easy faith to live. God knows that. That is why God sent Jesus to redeem us. That is why Jesus nourishes us with his Body and Blood in the Eucharist.
This is our faith. We are proud to profess it in Christ Jesus our Lord.