CATHOLIC HOMILY FOR EASTER VIGIL YEAR B
THEME: Who will roll back the Stone for us?
BY: Fr. Chibuike Uwakwe
HOMILY: For more than two thousand years now, humanity has never known a night as powerful as tonight. Tonight represents that great night when the power of death was conquered, the night that reconciled heaven and earth, the night of hope.
The Mother Church is glad for the joyful and glorious triumph of her spouse, Jesus, over death. That is why she invites her children to rejoice and ponder over the salvific wonders of God. The readings all speak of God’s benevolence, love, salvation and mercy on all He created.
Beginning with the book of Genesis, we recall the goodwill God manifested for man which He revealed in creation. We remember His covenant with Abraham. We recall His mighty deliverance of the Israelites from Egypt and His blessings and counsels through the prophets.
Tonight, we see the restoration God is making. He is making all things new for those who love Him. He is restoring us from death to life, from sickness to health, from poverty to riches and most importantly from sin to righteousness. This is the night of liberation, when God liberates us from the shackles of sin, of condemnation, of determinism and from hopelessness.
This is the night when the new Adam rose in search of the old Adam. The night the living Adam wakes the sleeping Adam. The night the mighty hand rolled away the stone of death, releasing the captives and granting pardon to sinners. This is the night the powers of impossibilities were broken. Tonight is the night of miracles.
In Luke 24:1-12, we see the great announcement by the Angels to the women proclaiming that the power of resurrection has subdued the power of nature, the power of captivity, the power of hindrance, the power of limitation, the power of failure, the power of disappointment and the power of death.
The virtuous women who came to anoint the body of Jesus were moved by their love for Jesus. As the Gospel reading (Mark 16:1-7) recounts, they knew they could not access the body of Christ because of the huge stone at the entrance, so their question was “who will roll back the stone for us to go inside the tomb?” On seeing the stone already rolled back, the women went in determined to see their master. But on entering the tomb, they found a young man in a white robe who told them that Christ had risen.
Beloved brethren, tonight, we ponder on the power of resurrection; that power with which Christ resurrected and rolled back the stone to enable the women experience the empty tomb and witness to his resurrection. Tonight, we ask ourselves who will roll back this stone of suffering, death, hunger, poverty, terrorism, war, ignorance, pandemic, etc, troubling the world? It is still this power of resurrection. No matter what your stone is, no matter the limitation, the power of resurrection can roll it back.
Today’s celebration gives hope to all victims of injustice and those in various forms of suffering. Do not lose hope, God will intervene in your situation. The stone hindering your freedom will soon be rolled back by forces stronger than those holding you hostage. Let us be determined just like these women were, to do the good we ought to do, according to our means and strength. Tonight, joy is our lot, thanksgiving is our portion, restoration is our dream, reconciliation is our disposition, redemption is our gift and salvation is our gain. Therefore, let us go out with shouts of joy, proclaiming the risen Lord whose power of resurrection will roll back every negative obstacle on our way to salvation. Amen. God loves you.
Fr. Chibuike Uwakwe