Saturday, April 07, 2012

Easter Vigil 2012

A few moments ago the bells rang out from our bell tower.

They did not toll rather they peeled,
and from the sound that echoed around town,
it was easy to discern that something special was going on at St. Paul’s, something joyous.

Once after a school mass I rang the bells as the kids walked back to school and as the kindergarteners came out of Church I asked them what those bells meant and a little boy responded the “Church is happy.”

Yes the Church is happy and our Church is happy tonight, very happy.

Tonight we gathered in vigil to meditate on the Word of God.

Tonight we will baptize two beautiful children Brittany and Gary.

Tonight after a year of preparation we will welcome Thomas into full communion.

Tonight after a year of preparation we will confirm Sebastian in his Catholic faith.

A very special thank you to Fr. Raymond and the RCIA Team that helped prepare them for these special moments.

And tonight everyone including two more beautiful children Tyler and  Kyle will make their first communions.

Our Church our parish has great reason to be happy tonight.

Someone passing by might ask themselves what are they so happy about at St. Paul’s the economy is bad, gas prices are up... the world’s a mess.

And every once in a while it is also appropriate for all of us to ask ourselves that very same question.
Why are we happy ?
What is the reason for our joy ?

During this beautiful Triduum of prayers,
we have commemorated the institution of the incredible gift of the Eucharist Christ’s living sacrificial presence among us. We have reason to be happy.

For the last few days we have walked with our Lord on his way to Calvary reverenced the Cross and meditated on his passion and death.
God so loved the world. We have reason to be happy.

Many of us have taken stock of ourselves and our own brokenness.

Some even made their Easter duty and went to confession and experienced the healing forgiveness of God’s mercy. We have reason to be happy.

The Church is happy tonight because we know that resurrection confirms everything that Jesus said and did.

Death doesn’t win.
Sin doesn’t win.
Despair doesn’t win.

When all seemed lost in darkness and anger and violence
the Light of our Risen Lord appeared in our world,
just like the light of our paschal candle appeared in the darkness of this church.

We know that the light of faith given to us by our Lord will always sustain us even in our darkest moments.

Holy ones... the Easter message doesn’t take away all of the challenges and trials of this life rather,
Easter reminds us that there is always hope, hope for something better.

As the women made their way to the tomb they were overcome with grief but they were determined to anoint His body because they loved Him.

The Apostles Jesus’ dearest friends were so overcome with grief and fear that they were in hiding and wouldn’t even show their faces.

But once they encountered the empty tomb their lives were changed forever.

Their meeting with the angel changed everything

They understood that the power of Jesus’ suffering love on the cross had conquered even death itself.

The experience of the resurrection took away their fear and challenged them to go out... and share the good news.

“Go and tell the others and Peter” the Angel said
and that’s what they did and the world has never been the same.

And we are sitting in this church right now because they did as they were told.

Filled with hope,
filled with joy,
Guided by the very light of Christ as we go through life
let us go and do the same.

Someone is waiting,
someone desperately needs to hear the reason for our joy.

After this night of prayer and vigil let us leave this Church with a new and certain hope of God’s promise and God’s love.

He is risen

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