Saturday, March 30, 2024


Holy Saturday Easter Vigil concludes the Triduum, the Sacred Paschal Mystery celebration, which began on Holy Thursday.

Before the advent of electricity, gas lights, kerosene lights, flash lights, and so on, people who kept vigil made fire with dry branches of trees, sat around it, and told stories. We do the same while keeping vigil for the Lord’s resurrection. We started with the ceremony of lighting the Holy Fire. The Holy Fire commemorates God’s creation of light on the earth, which was without form or shape and enveloped in darkness. “Then God said: ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light. God saw that the light was good. God then separated light from darkness” (Genesis 1:2-5). We pray that the Holy Fire burns and purifies our hearts and makes us new. May the Holy Fire burn in our dark world and dispel all forces of darkness. We cast our afflictions into the Holy Fire. May we be freed from them. Amen.

Moments ago, we processed into the church building with lighted candles behind the Paschal Candle. The Paschal Candle is an image of the Risen Christ’s triumph over death. It is a symbol of hope and new life. Following the Paschal Candle into the church building is a powerful symbol that we are followers of the Risen Lord who assures us, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12). May the light of Christ light our way to triumph over sin and sorrow. Amen.

Let us recall a few lines in the Exultet:

“This is the night that with a pillar of fire banished the darkness of sin.”

“This is the night that even now, throughout the world, sets Christian believers apart from worldly vices and from the gloom of sin, leading them to grace and joining them to his holy ones.”

“This is the night, when Christ broke the prison-bars of death and rose victorious from the underworld.”

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.” 

The Old and New Testament readings we have read remind us of our salvation history which goes back to the creation of the world, the fall of Adam and Eve due to disobedience, the journey of God’s Chosen people, the prophecies about Jesus, his coming, his passion, his death and, now, his resurrection.

Soon, in this celebration, we will renew our baptismal promises in which we will renounce Satan and all his works. All these make us partakers in the Sacred Pascal Mystery. These deep and profound spiritual expressions are for our transformation. May our Lenten journey, the Triduum, and the Easter celebrations transform us. Amen.

Our world is enveloped in darkness of corruption, wars, violence, death, refugee crises, bad governments, insecurity, fear, poverty, sickness, suffering, godlessness, human made and natural disasters, and so on. 1 John 5:19 expresses the world's situation, “We know that we belong to God, [but] the whole world is under the power of the evil one.” However, Jesus assures us, “But take courage; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). He says, “because I live and you will live” (John 14:19). Joyfully, we exclaim with St. Paul, “Thanks be to God! He gives us victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:57).

Our celebration continues in the morning when we gather again to celebrate the Risen Lord.

Happy Easter!

No comments:

Post a Comment