Sunday, April 4, 2021

Easter Praise


“O blessed of all nights, chosen by God to see Christ rising from the dead.” It is fitting for us to turn to our holy mother the Church to put into words and give voice to the awe-filled mystery of this holy night. She has been drawn into the bridal chamber of her beloved, and she alone can tell us something of the wonders of his love.

It must start with praise of our unseen Father, our creator, who made the world precisely so that we would have so great a redeemer! Indeed, how wonderful is his care for us! How boundless his merciful love! To ransom a slave, he gave away his Son, not only to the womb of the Virgin but to the hands of sinners and to the nether world of oblivion so that allowing him to become like us in all things, he might become a merciful high priest on our behalf.

Her praise must continue with praise of the Lamb whose blood of the covenant consecrates the lips and homes of all believers. This is Jesus Christ, the true Lamb who was slain, who like Jacob, has risen up and rolled away the stone from the deep well of his tomb to wash his beloved Rachel, that is, the Church, with the nuptial bath of regeneration. How long and how hard he labored to win her for himself. It cost him his life, his honor, his blood! What else is there for his bride to do but to weep for joy – cleansed of guilt, restored to lost innocence, freed from all defilement – she knows and has found him whom her soul loves.

Finally, her praise must include that most holy Spirit who alone could make her worthy to sing these Easter praises. Her bridegroom was raised by the glory of the Father. The Spirit is this glory, the outpouring of praise of the Father for his beloved Son and of the Son for his all-powerful Father who has not let his beloved know decay. It is the Spirit who weds not only heaven and earth but the lowly bride, our Mother the Church, to her crucified and risen Lord. The Spirit is the flame undivided, the pillar of fire that is the glory of God. Never will this light be dimmed but will continue to burn in the hearts of believers until the Morning Star, who came back from the dead, draws us to the throne of grace where he lives and reigns with the Father and the Holy Spirit, now and forever!

Dom Vincent's homily for the Easter Vigil.