The Easter Vigil is the biggest celebration of the Catholic Liturgical Year. When celebrated well it has the most magnificent music and symbolism designed to give us a taste of the heavenly existence of all the saints and angels. Yet it is also remarkably down to earth in that it relates to us through all the Readings the history of salvation, that is, the history of God’s work in human affairs. Listen carefully to the progression of the Readings and you will discover a subtle unfolding of God’s plan through His work with the Jewish people to the point where it climaxes in the mission of the Son of God.

When Jesus rises from the dead the whole nature of the relationship between God and humanity is definitively changed – reconciliation is made possible and we are offered the gift of a new life – a life of grace ruled by the Holy Spirit. Unfortunately, we all too often want the benefits of this new life without the prerequisite surrender of our lives and will to that of God! We are offered a new relationship with God that is infinitely better than our previous one but it comes only through faith and trust in God’s love for us. That is, we must be willing to place our lives under the grace of the Holy Spirit so that God will be able to direct our lives and keep us free from sin.

The New Covenant that Jesus inaugurates marks a new era of human history where humanity is no longer bound by sin but free to live a life of grace and truth under the Holy Spirit. This is what the prophets have longed for since the rise of Elijah and Elisha; it is what the whole earth has been awaiting in travail; and what each of us is offered through faith in Christ. Let us open our hearts and minds tonight to the light and truth of the Spirit so that we will be transformed into messengers of the Gospel. Let us allow the Spirit into our lives in a new way so that we will carry the Good News with us wherever we go.

Are there areas of darkness in my life that are yet to come under the Lordship of Christ? If so, what am I going to do about this?

Lord Jesus, you have risen from the dead. Help me to live the life of a redeemed person proclaiming the Good News of salvation in all that I do.