(Easter Vigil) Saturday, 26 March 2016 : Easter Vigil of the Resurrection of the Lord, Holy Week (Psalm after Seventh Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Psalm 41 : 3, 5 and Psalm 42 : 3, 4

My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I go and see the face of God?

Now as I pour out my soul, I remember all this – how I used to lead the faithful in procession to the house of God, amid shouts of joy and thanksgiving, among the feasting throng.

Send forth your light and your truth; let them be my guide, let them take me to Your holy mountain, to the place where You reside.

Then I will go to the altar of God, to God, my gladness and delight. I will praise You with the lyre and harp, o God, my God.

 

Alternative Psalm (If there is baptism)

Psalm 50 : 12-15, 18, 19

Create in me, o God, a pure heart; give me a new and steadfast spirit. Do not cast me out of Your presence nor take Your Holy Spirit from me.

Give me again the joy of Your salvation and sustain me with a willing spirit. Then I will show wrongdoers Your ways and sinners will return to You.

You take no pleasure in sacrifice; were I to give a burnt offering, You would not delight in it.

O God, my sacrifice is a broken spirit; a contrite heart You will not despise.

(Easter Vigil) Saturday, 30 March 2013 : Easter Vigil of the Resurrection of the Lord, Holy Week (Scripture Reflection)

Today marks the greatest day in our entire year, and marks the greatest event that there ever was in the history of all mankind and the history of the world. For today, our Lord, who had died for us on the cross, did not stay dead, but was risen by the glory of God to Father in the most glorious Resurrection.

Jesus Christ, our Lord, who is Risen Lord, has harrowed hell in His descent there after His death,  He has liberated souls of sinners imprisoned and enchained by Satan, but having true faith in the Lord, freed from their bonds, and now join our Lord in His glorious Resurrection. Yes, glorious indeed is  His Resurrection. For in His Resurrection, our life are restored, in a new life in Him, just as our past is dead, when Christ died for us on that cross on Calvary.

Jesus Christ, the Risen Lord, had given His life that all of us who shared in His death through baptism, just as St. Paul said in his letter to the Romans, we can also be freed from eternal death in sin, and enter into eternal life and be Resurrected to true life just together with Christ’s resurrection. All of us who had been baptised in Christ, had been marked by Christ, our Lord as His, and His alone. The devil and his snares of sin no longer has any power over us.

Indeed, we who had been baptised, had received the gift of life through our faith in the living God, the resurrected Christ, who triumphed over Satan and death. But we must always stay vigilant, that Satan certainly will not stay silent while his dominions over sinful men are being assailed. He will fight back hard, and all of us must be ready, and must be strong.

As in what we had heard in all the readings we have today, today we hear the story of God’s love and His love for all of us, from the time when He created us and all the earth, through all the tribulations that His people encountered in Egypt, and through His salvation of them through Moses, His servant, and finally through the prophets, and ended in the greatest love and salvation of all that is, the salvation of all mankind through Christ, who died for us, and risen for us, that all of us join Him to once again return to the Father who loves us, and who created us out of His breath of life though we are dust.

So great is God’s love that He laid down His life for us, for His is the only worthy life that when surrendered in death, worth all of our iniquities and faults, that we who believe in Him can be rid of those, and becoming truly perfect in virtue, in our being and our soul, that we are worthy of being one with God, and be in His Presence again.

For when our forefathers rejected God through their rebellion, through Adam and Eve’s disobedience of eating the forbidden fruits of the tree of knowledge, we had been marred, and therefore, we could not stand before God in our imperfections, for God is perfect, and though He loves us so much indeed, no imperfections or iniquities can stand in His presence and survive.

A great chasm had appeared between us and God the Father, our creator. Ever since Adam and Eve were banished from the Gardens of Eden for their disobedience, we have ever since wonder around in this earth, separated from the fullness of God’s love, which Adam and Eve enjoyed in their early life of bliss in Eden before the fall of mankind to sin, and which we are to enjoy again, if we truly believe in Christ, and allow Him to transform us through His death and resurrection, to be purified, and therefore, worthy once again of the fullness of love of our God.

For, just like the slavery of the people of Israel, God’s people in Egypt shows to us, this separation from God is just temporary. For as God sent Moses, His servant to free the people of Israel from their bondage under Pharaoh, so He had sent His only Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, to deliver all of us, not just Israel, God’s first chosen people, but now through Christ, He delivers all of us, His new chosen people, from the bondage under sin and Satan, the evil one.

Just as He split open the Red Sea through Moses, to allow the people of Israel to walk dryshod through the sea, so He also opened the path to Himself, through Christ, to allow us to walk and return to He who loves us. For that great chasm between us and Him is insurmountable and infinite in span, but yet, Christ, our Lord, who gave His life for us, had become that great bridge through His Resurrection, that this bridge, like the dry land of the Red Sea’s seafloor, it allows us to pass through despite the chasm, to return back to our Father in heaven.

Yet, the path would not be easy, and we may fall along the way. Indeed, we had been chosen and marked by Christ through baptism, that we reflect His death and resurrection in ourselves, within our heart, but just as God’s chosen people, the people of Israel had shown, we can fall in our way. We knew it well that Israel often rebelled against the Lord, beginning from when they had been brought out of Egypt, when they often brought the Lord to the test, and made numerous complaints to the Lord, and even established rival gods like that of the golden calf, and the false gods of the people of Midian and Canaan.

We too can falter in our way, and can also fall into the same kind of trap that had befallen Israel. Therefore, we must always be vigilant, and keep at all times, our focus in Christ, our Lord, in His love and trust in His authority. Let us keep one another strong in faith, strong in God’s love, and strong in our hope for eternal life through Christ. Help out one another, especially those who are struggling with the faith.

Though the people of Israel, the chosen people, constantly rebelled against God and His commandments, and slaughtering many of His chosen prophets, and ultimately crucified His Son, God incarnate in Christ Jesus, He still readily forgave them, since in His own words that they do not know what they are doing, that in their ignorance, and in the blindness of their eyes and hearts, they failed to see God and His wonderful mission of redemption.

Therefore brothers and sisters in Christ. Today let us make true the mission that God has entrusted to all of us through His Apostles, that is to spread the Good News to all the nations, and to baptise them in the Name of the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit. As we commemorate the Resurrection of our Lord today, let this moment be a moment of renewal of our commitment to evangelise the Good News of the Lord to all the people.

That through evangelisation and knowledge of the Lord, the people will no longer rebel against the Lord who loves them, and will no longer dwell in sin and darkness, but will return to the light, just as all of us had been redeemed into light by our own baptism.

Let us pray fervently for our brethren who will be baptised in the ceremony today, either in the Easter Vigil or the Easter Sunday celebrations, that the love and fear of the Lord will continue to grow stronger in their hearts, that the call which they had received to become catechumens, will continue to resonate loudly within their beings and their hearts even after their baptism. May the Holy Spirit descend upon them and dwell in their hearts, and through them and their actions, and also in all of us gathered as one community of the faithful ones in Christ, bear much fruits of the Holy Spirit, most important of which is love.

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, I wish you all a most happy and blessed Easter, that in this holy season of Easter, may all of us rejoice in the glorious Resurrection of our Lord, and commit ourselves to further the evangelisation of our Lord’s Good News, that many more will be able to join our Lord too, in new life, born out of baptism, and be resurrected like Christ was resurrected, from our past lives and die to ourselves, so that we can be born into a new life in Christ. God bless us all. Amen.

(Easter Vigil) Saturday, 30 March 2013 : Easter Vigil of the Resurrection of the Lord, Holy Week (Psalm after Seventh Reading)

Psalm 41 : 3, 5 and Psalm 42 : 3, 4

My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I go and see the face of God?

Now as I pour out my soul, I remember all this – how I used to lead the faithful in procession to the house of God, amid shouts of joy and thanksgiving, among the feasting throng.

Send forth your light and your truth; let them be my guide, let them take me to Your holy mountain, to the place where You reside.

Then I will go to the altar of God, to God, my gladness and delight. I will praise You with the lyre and harp, o God, my God.

 

Alternative Psalm (If there is baptism)

 

Psalm 50 : 12-15, 18, 19

Create in me, o God, a pure heart; give me a new and steadfast spirit. Do not cast me out of Your presence nor take Your Holy Spirit from me.

Give me again the joy of Your salvation and sustain me with a willing spirit. Then I will show wrongdoers Your ways and sinners will return to You.

You take no pleasure in sacrifice; were I to give a burnt offering, You would not delight in it.

O God, my sacrifice is a broken spirit; a contrite heart You will not despise.