With great joy I greet you, in particular those who are ready to be baptized and confirmed! This is indeed a day of new life for us who seek His face! Alleluia!
The universal Church proclaims the kerymatic message on this ‘first day of the week.’ Jesus of Nazareth is not dead. He has been raised up! This message cannot be confined within these walls, as some would have us do. By nature, this message reverberates around the world, lighting up its darkened corners and nourishing it’s most wanting dwelling places.
We have walked Calvary and have silently waited at the Tomb. We have witnessed in these days man’s inhumanity to man, the horror of Christian martyrdom, the irrational anger of hatred, and the alienation that comes through human disrespect. But now through the shadows, a light has risen! New songs shatter the stillness of the night. It is the echo of the ages, a voice from an empty tomb. He is risen! He has conquered sin and death! He has made all things new!
In the days of Lent, each of us tried to appreciate our dependency on God. We came to feel the incredible thirst of humanity for compassion, for truth and for joy. Each of us see how much people try to find meaning in this life without God only to realize that without God there is no meaning.
But now, in the light of resurrection, we know the power of offering a cup of water, a healing hand, a warm embrace. It is the power to re-assure men, women and children that with Christ human persons need not be thirsty, need not stand alone, need not be afraid.
The mystery of resurrection is real. It is “the crowning truth of our faith.” As we pass the heritage of this Truth to new Catholics, we are charged to live it with joy. Certainly, the challenges that the Christian community face in the midst of physical, legislative, and cultural martyrdom are real as well, and we can meet them if we remain solid in our conviction that the tomb is empty; for if we look for Him there we will not find Him.
He is not in the tomb of despair. He is not in the tomb of fear and distress. He is not in the darkness of evil but in the Dawn of a new Day. The tomb is empty! He has risen and walks before us to Galilee! He has conquered sin forever. And because He is victorious, we cannot continue to live in old ways, relying on ourselves alone to make things right. Only Christ makes things new!
We can build new lives rich in the Scripture and in the prayer traditions of the Church. We can build new family lives by daring to establish daily family traditions of praying, eating and talking with one another. We can build new communities by daring to listen to one another; slowing down the frenetic pace and caring for one another, face-to-face, not text to text.
We should welcome these opportunities to share these new lives with each other, human to human. In this way our human lives will be open to sharing the divine life, which is freely given this night as a way to come closer to Jesus. We should glory in His wounds that yearn to heal and forgive. We should radiate the joy of a new life that transcends this earthly dwelling and touches the face of God.
Go forth then, into the world that is still dark and witness to the Truth. Reach out to the edges and pull in those who are alienated from us, those who have allowed the light of faith to dim, and those who deny God. Go out to them and convince them that the tomb is really empty. Begin to walk joyfully with them toward Galilee where you will see Him together.
Make this most sacred night O Holy Father, radiant with the Glory of the Lord’s resurrection. Stir up in our hearts a spirit of fire and unquenchable zeal, so that our lives may be a completed gift in the service of Your Holy Church. Amen. Alleluia!