Walk the Easter Way: More than a Day, Easter is a Way of Living Differently
He Has Been raised and lives among us in the heart of the Church, for the sake of the world.
Nothing can separate us from that Love incarnated in the Crucified, Risen Son of the True and Living God. Alleluia! The light floods the once dark cave and fills the entire world with hope. The debt has been paid, the last enemy death has been defeated, hell has been conquered, the captives have been liberated, love has triumphed and heavens gates have been opened wide. He is Alive and all those who stand at the Altar of the Cross, and in the light of the empty tomb, believing in His promise, shall live forever in Him, beginning now. Easter is about a new way of life.
CHESAPEAKE, VA. (Catholic Online) - In the Epistle reading for our Mass during the day on Easter Sunday, the Apostle Paul reminds the early Christians - and reminds all of us who stand with them in the continuing redemptive mission of the Lord - of an aspect of our celebration. Not only has the Lord whom we love been raised - but we who have been baptized into Him have already been raised with Him!
"Brothers and sisters: If then you were raised with Christ, seek what is above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Think of what is above, not of what is on earth; For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ your life appears, then you too will appear with him in glory." (Col. 3: 1- 4)
At the Easter Vigil last night the new flame was lit. As a deacon of the Church I had the honor of carrying the Paschal candle into the dark sanctuary proclaiming "The Light of Christ". Candle by candle, the light of the Resurrection illuminated the world around us as He who is the Light of the World fills it with His radiance.
I then sang that ancient hymn of the Church which captures the depth of the mystery we celebrate on Easter, the Exultet, "Exult,let them exult, the hosts of heaven. Exult, let Angel ministers of God exult. Let the trumpet of salvation sound aloud our mighty Kings triumph! Be glad let earth be glad as glory floods her.
"Ablaze with light from her eternal King, let all corners of the earth be glad, knowing an end to gloom and darkness. Rejoice, let Mother Church also rejoice, arrayed with the lightning of His glory, let this Holy Building shake with joy, filled with the mighty voices of the peoples!" The words to this ancient hymn offer the deepest insights from the early Church into the meaning of the Paschal mystery.
The Vigil Liturgy readings walked us through the Old Testament into the New Testament - unfolding the great plan of a loving God who did not leave us in sin but sent His only Son into the world to save us and set us free from the chains of sin and the ravages of death!
This world which He had created in love through the Word is now re-created from within through the Incarnation- the Saving Life, Death and Resurrection, of the Word made Flesh. The One whom the Scriptures proclaim as the first born of the new creation burst forth from the tomb and began the New Creation.
Throughout the world, Catechumens, those prepared through catechesis (instruction in the faith) for Baptism and the Easter sacraments - and Candidates, Christians of other communities whose Baptism the Holy Church recognizes, prepared along with them for the Sacraments of Confirmation and Eucharist, were incorporated into the full communion of Church, the Risen Body of the One who has been Raised; the One in whom we have been raised.
The palpable joy of Easter flooded Christians as we witnessed the power of God, Sacramentally mediated through those saving waters of Baptism, the Oil of Chrism and the reception of the most Holy Eucharist, the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ. Tears flowed like a river and the cold hearts of many of the faithful were enkindled once again by the great Easter Flame.
In our parish many adults were baptized. They walked down into a Font which had been lovingly built by men of the parish just this year. As they came out of those saving waters the entire Church erupted with Easter joy. As our priest confirmed them, pouring the Sacred Chrism on their Head - and, along with them, the others who had come into the full communion of the Church from other Christian communities - the utter wonder of it filled my soul.
I was profoundly moved by the beauty of the ancient yet ever new Catholic faith as it was expressed in its Liturgical fullness. When, standing alongside of our priest, I was able to offer them the Holy Eucharist, the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus for the first time, I was moved to tears.I have watched over the months as these dear people have yielded their lives to the Risen Lord and experienced the truth which they affirmed this evening, He Has Been raised and lives among us in the heart of the Church, for the sake of the world.
Nothing can separate us from that Love incarnated in the Crucified, Risen Son of the True and Living God. Alleluia! The light floods the once dark cave and fills the entire world with hope. The debt has been paid, the last enemy death has been defeated, hell has been conquered, the captives have been liberated, love has triumphed and heavens gates have been opened wide. He is Alive and all those who stand at the Altar of the Cross, and the light of the empty tomb, believing in His promise, shall live forever in Him, beginning now.
With the Mass of Easter day we begin the Octave, eight days of feasting on the readings which Holy Mother Church sets out on the table of the ...
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