"WHY DO YOU SEEK THE LIVING ONE AMONG THE DEAD? .... HE IS NOT HERE BUT HE HAS BEEN RAISED."(Luke 24:5)
Holy Saturday Easter Vigil
Our Vigil Mass features numerous Old Testament readings that highlight many of the key moments in salvation history beginning with the creation story (Genesis 1:1-2:2), "In the beginning, when God created the heavens and the earth, the earth was a formless wasteland, and darkness covered the abyss . . . ."
Following this is the story of God testing Abraham with the sacrifice of his only son (Genesis 22:1-18), "Take your son Isaac, your only one, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah. There you shall offer him up as a holocaust. . . ." Then comes the story of God parting the Red Sea so the Israelites could escape the Egyptians (Genesis14:15 - 15:1), "The Lord said to Moses, 'Why are you crying out to me? Tell the Israelites to go forward. And you, lift up your staff and, with hand outstretched over the sea, split the sea in two. . . .'" The next reading is the prophesy of the Prophet Isaiah near the end of the Israelite's exile in Babylon (Isaiah 55:1-11). Isaiah looks forward to the day liberation, "All you who are thirsty, come to the water! You who have no money, come, receive grain and eat; come, without paying and without cost, drink wine and milk!" In our Epistle reading (Romans 6:3-11), St. Paul teaches us that as we also died with Christ, so too, we will receive new live in Christ, "We are indeed buried with him through baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might live in newness of life.,"
In our Gospel reading (Luke 24:1-12), St. Luke writes how the women found the stone rolled away and Jesus' tomb empty, "...but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were puzzling over this, behold, two men in dazzling garments appeared to them. They were terrified and bowed their faces to the ground. They said to them, "Why do you seek the living one among the dead? He is not here, but he has been raised."
Easter Sunday of the Resurrection of the Lord
The Easter morning readings are shorter and focus more succinctly on Jesus' resurrection. The first reading is from the Acts of the Apostles (Acts 10:34, 37-43) and is an excerpt of one of Peter's speeches boldly proclaiming the risen Christ, "You know what has happened all over Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John preached, how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power. . . They put him to death by hanging him on a tree. This man God raised on the third day and granted that he be visible, . . . He commissioned us to preach to the people and testify that he is the one appointed by God as judge of the living and the dead. To him all the prophets bear witness, that everyone who believes in him will receive forgiveness of sins through his name."
The Gospel reading (John 20:1-9) is John's telling of the events on Easter morning. "Mary of Magdala came to the tomb early in the morning, while it was still dark, and saw the stone removed from the tomb. So she ran and went to Simon Peter and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and told them . . .They both ran, but the other disciple ran faster than Peter . . .When Simon Peter arrived after him, he went into the tomb and saw the burial cloths there, and the cloth that had covered his head . . .For they did not yet understand the Scripture that he had to rise from the dead"
Easter is God's Love Story. We celebrate, We believe!