Saturday, April 4, 2015

Holy Saturday (Easter Vigil)
Historically, a vigil was a period of nighttime watchfulness; sleep intentionally disrupted for a ritual or military purpose. One may imagine soldiers standing guard on the eve of a battle. The warfare we may encounter on this vigil night will be of a spiritual sort, but as we see in the readings, the drama and intensity of this moment reaches the same emotional apex as a clash of arms. The readings run the gamut of all of creation history, from the formation of the world to the Exodus from Egypt. The recurrent theme is that out of the elemental darkness and chaos, we travel through both time and our own weaknesses and failings to the rising sun of God’s redeeming gift, our eternal salvation. Spoken of by prophets, witnessed by Evangelists and memorialized by Paul, we are able during this vigil to ruminate on how all of creation and all of history points inexorably to the resurrection of our redeemer Jesus Christ from the dead, this moment reorienting once and for all the sweep of history, and the tenor of our own individual lives. For as we see in the Gospel for this night, the encounter with the resurrection need not resemble the big bang, or the parting of the Red Sea; it can be, and likely will be, a personal encounter, individual to individual, like poor women in a burial ground. We stand vigil tonight not only for the great miracle that will save us all, but for the personal connections we have that give it true context and meaning.

God our Redeemer, as we keep watch today for the resurrection of Your Son, let us remember that it is in the small things as much as the large that You are present, in the meek as much as the great, and that the silences of our hearts are as eloquent as the sounds. We ask for patience and faith through Christ Your son, and the intercession of Mary our mother. Amen.

Brother Michael Carter, S.S.E. ’12

First Reading: Genesis 1:1-2:2 or 1:1, 26-31a
Psalm 104:1-2, 5-6, 10, 12-14, 24, 35 or Psalm 33:4-7, 12-13, 20, 22
Second Reading: Genesis 22:1-18 or 22:1-2, 9a, 10-13, 15-18
Psalm 16:5, 8-11
Third Reading: Exodus 14:15—15:1
(Psalm) Exodus 15:1-6, 17-18
Fourth Reading: Isaiah 54:5-14
Psalm 30:2, 4-6, 11-13
Fifth Reading: Isaiah 55:1-11
(Psalm) Isaiah 12:2-3, 4-6
Sixth Reading: Baruch 3:9-15, 32—4:4
Psalm 19:8-11
Seventh Reading: Ezekiel 36:16-17a, 18-28
Psalm 42:3, 5; 43:3-4
Eighth Reading: Romans 6:3-11
Psalm 118:1-2, 16-17, 22-23
Gospel: Mark 16:1-7

Daily Scripture readings can be found online at the USCCB website

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