Friday, March 30, 2018

Catholic Reflections : Easter Vigil - Holy Saturday Night - 31st March, 2018

Homily Easter Vigil  - 31st March 2018




Easter Proclamation:  (The Exsultet)
Old Testament Readings and Psalms
•       Genesis 1:1-2:4a and Psalm 136:1-9, 23-26
•       Genesis 7:1-5, 11-18; 8:6-18; 9:8-13 and Psalm 46
•       Genesis 22:1-18 and Psalm 16
•       Exodus 14:10-31; 15:20-21 and Exodus 15:1b-13, 17-18
•       Isaiah 55:1-11 and Isaiah 12:2-6
•       Baruch 3:9-15, 3:32-4:4 or Proverbs 8:1-8, 19-21; 9:4b-6 and Psalm 19
•       Ezekiel 36:24-28 and Psalm 42, 43
•       Ezekiel 37:1-14 and Psalm 143
•       Zephaniah 3:14-20 and Psalm 98
New Testament Reading and Psalm
•       Romans 6:3-11 and Psalm 114
Gospel   -  Mark 16:1-8
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Please listen to my audio recordings of the readings, prayers and reflections for the Easter Vigil  - 31st March, 2018 by clicking this link here:   https://soundcloud.com/user-633212303/holy-saturday-vigil-faith-hope-and-love 

For a version of the Easter Vigil  - 31st March, 2018 which features the shorter version of the Exsultet please choose this link:   https://soundcloud.com/user-633212303/holy-saturday-vigil-faith-hope-and-love-with-shorter-version-of-exsultet   (EPISODE: 88 )
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The Tomb is empty!!

Christ is Risen !!

The Lord is truly the God of New Beginnings and new starts.  Thanks be to God for the new beginnings God allows to spring forth in so many big and small ways in our lives.

…….All that Jesus said he was, is revealed to be profoundly true.

Jesus said that he came to unite all humanity into the one family of God.

He invited us all to share deeply in the relationship he has with God the Father and God the Holy Spirit.

His assurance that we will always be beloved and cherished children of God, is confirmed

It is all completely true. This feast of Easter celebrates this Truth.

We will live forever with God and with each other, in the new life won for us by Christ, on the cross, // and confirmed on that first Easter Sunday, when the tomb was found to be empty, and Christ was later encountered alive and risen.

All that Jesus won for us, (in his self-sacrificing love on the cross)…and for that matter, all that he won for us in the entirety of his self-giving life on earth….   is now given the ultimate stamp of approval through the resurrection…

How could we ever have doubted?….  how could the Lord of Life be held for long in the tomb of death? …. It was inevitable that God, (the source of all life), would quickly break the chains of death and establish a new order.

God has the last word on every sin….; on every tragedy, …… and this final word is one of complete faithfulness

Easter is a time of thanksgiving and celebration.   We celebrate life… (and new life at that). We celebrate love…. that never ends……

We have been reborn in Jesus……..

If in our lives we experience sin, ……injustice, ……….pain, ………suffering… or doubt…..   we believe that God will always be faithful to us…. //…….confirming (over and over again), that we ARE cherished sons and daughters……always…

This Easter, we give special thanks for our families and friends… We offer prayers of thanksgiving// and prayers of blessing for our loved ones.

Our thoughts too are with those who are working over this weekend… especially the emergency service and medical personnel..,  who are out there on duty, on weekends such as this so that we will be safer and happier…..   We are grateful for the work they do now and always… //……  we give thanks for all the wonderful people in our lives and the gift they are to us……//……..  may they be blessed with joy and health.. and may they know that God is with them in all they do… //…… in their work and in their social time… always…. 

We thank God for all the love and support that we receive from those around us…. the kindness and care shown by those close to us…..

May we be inspired to reflect God’s faithfulness and love to us,// by the way we treat each-other –// with appreciation and respect, gentleness, and forgiveness….

We see glimpses of Christ’s Resurrection even to this day… (two thousand years after he rose from the dead)…// Jesus’ resurrection is still real and active in our lives today….

We “glimpse” the resurrection daily whenever….

-         People who are suffering all kinds of troubles become filled with a peace, a serenity and a graciousness that goes beyond their present situation.
-         We glimpse the resurrection when people reach out in forgiveness even when they have been deeply wounded by another’s actions… when they feel peace and forgiveness in their hearts despite what has happened to them or loved ones…
-         Whenever people give practical assistance to those in need… especially those most on the margins and most alienated….   and (in this spirit)……we gratefully acknowledge the gracious generosity of so many at times of disaster.
-         Whenever people stand up for others who are mistreated and without a voice…   and it helps to change the situation…  resurrection is witnessed…..
-         And when people support each other and give strength and hope in times of loss… the resurrection is glimpsed…
-        ….And we certainly witness the power of Christ’s resurrection at work, when people come forward,..  and say they want to be part of the life of this church and to celebrate (in so many ways) the presence of God in their lives…//…..they want to acknowledge, explicitly, the presence and action of God who is with them along their whole life journey/……
  

Finally,  the wonderful words of the Angels in Mark’s Gospel account continue to echo in our minds and hearts…  they tell the women who come to the tomb…   You are looking for Jesus of Nazareth. He is NOT here… he is risen !…  He is gone ahead of you into town… he will meet you there….

Happy Easter….    and at the end of our celebration (tonight/today)… we go forth from here to continue to witness to the resurrection in our lives and in the daily lives of those around us…… //    May Christ’s Kingdom come in all its fullness… and may we be of assistance in helping that Kingdom to flourish (in quiet and practical ways… by our actions, by our values and attitudes…..)……In the places we live and work 

As we go out…….Christ too has certainly gone ahead of us, into the towns and cities…  He will meet us there….


 
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References:
Fr Paul W. Kelly


I acknowledge the beautiful chanting of the Exsultet (the Easter proclamation ), the Gloria and the Easter Alleluia; chants from the Roman Missal edition 3,  recorded by www.CCwatershed.org media   COPYRIGHT @ 2018 CORPUS CHRISTI  WATERSHED   especially at http://www.ccwatershed.org/blog/2012/feb/23/video-recording-paschal-proclamation-exsultet-plus/    and also specifically at  http://www.ccwatershed.org/media/audio/14/12/08/19-00-19_0.mp3

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Archive of homilies and reflections: http://homilycatholic.blogspot.com.au
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