Easter Vigil – April 2006

d’s journey back home to God, the story of our call to conversion of mind and heart by a loving and merciful God, a God who continues to call us to communion with himself.  Tonight that journey culminates – for our Catechumens – in Baptism, through which they become a new creation in Christ; and, for us who have been baptized, that journey culminates tonight in the Renewal of our Baptismal Promises.

Baptism recalls our own Passover foreshadowed in the Exodus of the Hebrews: – we are delivered from the slavery of sin for the new life of grace.  The Light, the new Light of the Paschal Candle symbolizes the Light of Christ which the darkness of sin and death could not overcome.  On this beautiful night, his light brightens our way and strengthens our hope.  Light dispels darkness, life overcomes death, and love conquers sin.

We are baptized so that we can receive Holy Communion.  For this reason, the Sacrament of Christ’s Body and Blood is considered the final Sacrament of Christian Initiation, for in our communion in Christ we become one with God and one with all the members of his Mystical Body, the Church.  It is the means through which God helps his creation renewed in grace to attain its vocation for love and communion.  It is the “daily bread” for which Christ taught us to pray, the “daily bread”, the Viaticum,  that sustains us on life’s journey to the Father’s house.

This new life that we celebrate tonight is the precious gift of the Risen Lord to each one of us.  May this life – received as a gift but also entrusted to us as a task – grow within each one of us so as to produce in our lives its fruits of love, joy and peace, the fruits of Eternal Life.  In his Resurrection, Christ renews all that is truly human in our lives. By the gift of his Spirit, he makes it possible for us to live no longer for ourselves but for him.  Alleluia!