HOMILY FOR EASTER VIGIL YEAR B
HOMILY THEME: NIGHT OF VICTORY
BY: Fr Emmanuel Muodebelu
The beginning of the Story: (Romans 6: 3-11; Mark 16:1-7).
Most often we watch movies that are written and produced by other people. In these movies we watch, the key actors come out victoriously, after so many fights and struggles. In such situation, we become happy. But we call it tragedy when the key actor dies either in the process or towards the end. What is important in every story is how it ends and the message it communicates. In most films, there is always a struggle between two parties, the good and evil. The evil seems to overpower the good but, towards the final end the good must emerge victoriously. Most of these insights were drawn from the life of Jesus Christ. All these are culmination of human experiences and stories. They serve as encouragement to life. The life of Jesus influenced most people who write these stories that they always use the power of media to give us hope.
Brethren, since forty days ago, we have been in the Lenten mood of fasting and prayer with Jesus Christ. The last week which is Holy Week that begins with Palm Sunday is the height of it especially, the triduum of Holy Thursday (Lord’s supper), Good Friday (Suffering, Cruxifiction and death), and today, Holy Saturday (night of resurrection ), which is the Holiest of all nights. It is Holy because this night begins our joy and hope as Christian. Every other days before now have been all struggles, sorrows, torture, persecutions and death. But this night brings an end to them all. This night begins the story of our salvation. This night, persecution and death has been conquered. This night the tomb has become empty. This night, Jesus has risen from death bringing to end, all our sorrows, and restores joy and hope in our life as Christians. This is the most sacred night that our Lord Jesus Christ passed over from death to life. This night is the beginning of our story as the children of resurrection.
The first part of our liturgy began with the blessing and preparation of the candle, which signifies Christ as light which dispels every form of darkness in our life. In the words of the priest confirmed Jesus as the beginning and the end and that every glory and honour and power belong to Him because, by His wound, we are healed. The priest will then say that, “may the light of Christ rising in glory dispel the darkness of our hearts and minds”.
The readings present to us the stories of our relationship with God beginning from the creation story, the call of our father, Abraham; the Exodus stories of how God delivered His people from Egypt, the land of slavery, through His servant, Moses. The most significant is the passover night which the story of passion marks it’s memorial, other readings marks how the Israelites disobeyed God, and were captured by other nations, and how God sent His prophets to warn them and to deliver them.
The Gospel presents how the angel of God told Mary Magdalene and the other Mary that Jesus has risen. The Gospel is the starting point of our Jesus. Jesus show himself to them on their way, and mandated them to tell the brethren in Galilee. The letter of St. Paul to the Romans reminds us that in our baptism as some of us will receive baptism tonight, we are dead with Christ. Therefore, our former self, have been crucified with him. Sin and death no longer have power over us. If we truly die with him, we shall resurrect with him.
Brethren, all these readings especially the Gospel bring joy of what we sing on the easter proclamation. In the Easter proclamation, we tell the whole world to rejoice because the gloom and darkness of life have come to an end. This Holy night sanctifies us and dispels wickedness, washes fault away, restores innocence to the fallen, and joy to mourners, drives out hatred, filters concord, and brings down the mighty. It sets Christian believers apart from worldly vices and from the gloom of sin, leading them to grace and joining them to His holy ones.
Child of God, Jesus has set us free from sin and death tonight. Our stories can never end in tragedy. Our conqueror has conquered both the conquerables and the unconqurables for us. He has destroyed the power of death for us, broken the stones of the grave and chains of evil. He has set us free. He has given us freedom, joy and hope. This night marks the end of suffering, persecution, cruxifiction and death. This is the night of resurrection. Have we been beaten and battered by the situation of life, by hardship, feeling of hatred and every type of vices. This night marks the beginning of the new story in our life. We are now the children of resurrection. May it never end in sorrows and tears in our families. May it not in tragedy, gloom and grave.
May the resurrected Jesus give us joy, hope and resurrection. May our sorrows turn into joy; our mourning and cry turn into laughter. May our misfortunes turn into fortune. May our tests turn into testimony. May Jesus Christ heal all our wounds, broken hearts, life and families. Jesus has brought joy and hope into our life. This is the night of joy. The joy that comes the resurrection of Jesus. Let us follow our master Jesus. Let us resurrect with him. Either Jesus or nothing. Jesus is our all.
Happy Easter to you all.
—Fr Emmanuel Muodebelu C.S.Sp
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