HOMILY FOR EASTER VIGIL YEAR A.
THEME: THE BLESSED NIGHT.
BY: Rev Fr Stephen ‘Dayo Osinkoya.
This is the greatest celebration of the Church. This night is the most blessed of all as we heard in the Exultet, the Easter Proclamation. Jesus’ resurrection reminds us that there is life beyond the grave. Jesus’ resurrection reminds us that there is more to each of us than meets the eye, that we have an immortal soul. Although our body will return to dust, our soul will live forever with God.
The Resurrection of Christ is a pledge of our own resurrection. It is the foundation upon which our faith rests. It is the guarantee of our own resurrection and God’s assurance that our sins are forgiven and that we are called to eternal life. So this is a joyful day, a day of great hope.
But the truth of the Resurrection is supposed to transform us. Just as Jesus broke through the rock into the freedom of new life, so this feast is meant to free our souls to the possibilities of a life free of sin. Instead of Easter as the conclusion of Lent, it’s the beginning of a new and more disciplined life, focused on holding firm to habits of prayer and devout living we have imbibed during these last six weeks of lent.
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Beloved in Christ, on the day of resurrection, and on the days immediately following, the disciples saw and experienced the Risen Christ again and again. Jesus spoke to them, called them by name, offered them his peace, fed them, broke bread with them, and sent them out. The first Christians observed the celebrations of the great Fifty Days of Easter with great devotion, and it is when they welcomed new Christians into their fellowship through the waters of baptism, by their words, their actions, and their lives they witnessed to the New life that Jesus brought and still brings. By the power of the resurrection they moved from being disciples to apostles, from sin to holiness, from death to life.
We too are invited therefore, in the name of the Church, to a holy season of Easter. We are invited to be nourished by God, and to nourish others by our witness to the resurrection. May these Fifty Days be a time when we are renewed, and where fed by the scriptures, prayer, and worship we would aspire to bring food to the hungry, comfort to the afflicted, hope to the hopeless, and faith to those who doubt. For in doing so we follow in the footsteps of the apostles, and in the promises we made in the waters of baptism.
And, let us make a right beginning now, as we join in the ancient acclamation:
Alleluia, Christ is risen!
The Lord is risen indeed, Alleluia!
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