Easter Vigil

In 05 Homilies by Fr. Reid on 2016/03/26 at 12:00 AM
  •   For some of you here tonight, this night will be the most important night of your life. Indeed, this is no ordinary night, for tonight is the night of your redemption!
  •   The various readings from Sacred Scripture tonight remind us of the dramatic story of salvation history. We heard the magnificent story of creation and learned the great lengths to which our Lord has gone throughout history to save man from eternal death.
  •   Through the readings from the prophets, we heard our Lord declare His undying love for us, and we received His promise to be always with us, to provide for us, and ultimately to save us, despite our sinful infidelity to Him.
  •   And finally in the Gospel, we peered into the empty tomb with Mary Magdalene and the other Mary in search of Jesus.
  •   And tonight is the night that we find Him.
  •   No, tonight is no ordinary night. This is not simply the night in which some of you willconvert to a different form of Christianity – as if it’s like the changing of one’s job orpolitical affiliation. The change that takes place tonight is much more radical than that.
  •   Indeed, the change effected within you tonight is not simply a change in your practice ofreligion, but a change in your soul that conforms you more closely to Christ!
  •   And so radical is this change that it will require you to die. However, the death you willdie is no ordinary death, for it will not be your body that dies. Rather, you will die aspiritual death in the waters of baptism; you will die to sin.
  •   Just as the Israelites passed through the waters of the Red Sea, and the evil Pharaoh andhis legions were drowned and washed away in those same waters, so too will every sinyou’ve ever committed be washed away as you pass through the waters of baptism.
  •   Afterwards, you will be clothed in a white garment as the outward sign of yournewfound dignity. And the light of Christ will shine upon your soul, enlightening it withHis truth, His goodness, and His beauty.
  •   Once you have passed through the sacred waters of baptism, you and 6 others heretonight will be strengthened by the Sacrament of Confirmation in order that you maylive out your baptismal promises as good soldiers for Christ.
  •   For all of you who receive it, the Sacrament of Confirmation will complete the goodwork begun in you by the Sacrament of Baptism, and you will be given the grace to liveour beautiful and ancient Catholic faith with fidelity and courage.
  •   Yet in His generosity, our Lord will not leave you on your own as you seek to practiceyour newfound faith. Being a good shepherd, He feeds His flock with the best of foods, for He feeds us with His very self: the Eucharist, which is really and truly His body, blood, soul and divinity.
  •   It is no ordinary night – not only for you who are to be received into the bosom of Holy Mother Church, but for all Christians. It is the night in which the hosts of heaven exult. It is the night that the trumpet of salvation sounds aloud our mighty King’s triumph!
  •   This is the night that the darkness of sin is banished and that Christians are set apart from worldly vices and from the gloom of sin.
  •   This is the night when Christ broke the prison‐bars of death and rose victorious from the underworld. It is a night that, in truth, is as bright as day.
  •   The sanctifying power of this night dispels wickedness, washes faults away, restores innocence to the fallen, and joy to mourners, drives out hatred, fosters concord, and brings down the mighty! Truly, it is a night like no other.
  •   “By most ancient tradition, this is the night of keeping vigil for the Lord, in which, following the Gospel admonition, [we], carrying lighted lamps in our hands, should be like those looking for the Lord when He returns, so that at His coming He may find [us] awake” (Roman Missal).
  •   On this night we keep vigil for our crucified and risen Lord, Who so graciously comes to us through the Sacraments, and Whom we know will come again at the end of time in that final battle between good and evil.
  •   So like the wise virgins who, with lighted lamps and full flasks of oil, were ready at their Master’s call, let us now prepare to enter into the Lord’s banquet – this banquet that will find it’s ultimate fulfillment in Heaven.
  •   May we keep awake in our hearts a lively faith, hope, and charity. And may we all live our Catholic faith with fidelity, courage, and absolute integrity so that we may indeed be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

30 March 2013

© Reverend Timothy Reid

Fr. Reid is the pastor of St. Ann Catholic Church, Charlotte, NC

Homilies from June 17, 2012 onward have audio.
To enable the audio, lease go directly to Fr. Reid’s homily homilies and select the matching date.

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