The Easter Vigil marks the culmination of the Church’s celebration of the mystery of our salvation. Here we celebrate the victory of Jesus over sin and death and we pray that this victory will permeate every aspect of our lives and every corner of our universe. There is nothing that remains unaffected by the rising of Jesus from the dead. All creation has groaned in longing for this day and now that it has arrived we welcome it with the greatest joy in our hearts. It all began with a seemingly insignificant birth thirty or so years previously and seemed to come to an end with his death a few days ago on a cross on a hill just outside the walls of Jerusalem – an ignominious end to a somewhat spectacular ministry of miracles and words and deeds. Yet, there was still another act in the drama to be played out; one that will continue forever to surprise and delight the hearts of men and women as they realize its eternal significance in the forgiveness of their sins!

As we listen to the Readings proclaimed in the Vigil celebration; as we take to heart the history of God’s salvific work that they outline to us in bare details; as we welcome the truth of the proclamation of God’s love and interaction in the lives of his people; as we celebrate Jesus’ victory over sin and death and as we make his victory our own, we remember, we celebrate and we believe the truth of our salvation in Christ Jesus.

Tonight, after having reflected upon the body of Jesus lying in a tomb, we celebrate that his body is no longer there! He is risen from the dead! This is the proclamation of our faith – the tomb is empty; Jesus has conquered the grave! Our hearts rejoice in this truth and we open them to receive the grace of salvation  that now freely flows from heaven to earth through the cross of Jesus; through the empty tomb and into the parched lands of our hearts and lives.

Will we open our hearts to the mystery of this night and enter into it fully and without reservation? Will we open our hearts in thanksgiving to God for this wonderful gift and commit ourselves to live it to the full all the days of our lives?

Holy Spirit, help me to surrender my life to the gift of salvation offered by Jesus on the cross. I pray that I will always be faithful to living the victory over sin he offers me through my commitment to him.