Homily: Easter Vigil, 2015

4th April, 2015

Exodus 14:15-15:1 ; Rom 6:3-11;  Ps 118:1-23  Mark 16: 1-7

The drama of our liturgy this evening embraces the climax of our human destiny and its fulfilment. This was prefigured in the transformation of the darkness of this Cathedral, the darkness of our human history, by the entrance of the light of the risen Christ.

At the beginning of Mass we were once again in the dark and suddenly (in line with what we heard from the Book of Exodus) there was a pillar of light that was shining in the dark. It was the Lumen Christi, the Light of Christ. He is the Light that came into the world, into the darkness, and the darkness was not able to overcome it.

That light then spread from that one flame on top of the Easter candle to all of the candles which each one of us held. And suddenly there was a beautiful glow throughout the Cathedral, and the darkness had been enveloped in the light – just as each one of us was on the day we were baptized, as Saint Paul reminded us in the reading that we heard from his Letter to the Romans. St. Paul fills out the promise of our destiny. We too, with Christ, are called to live a new life.

That's the first and most joyful message of Easter -- that Jesus has broken through the barrier of death to new life, and where he has gone, we will follow, we will go through death to new life as he did.

As we proceed now with the Mass, the blessing of the Easter water, and the renewal of our baptismal promises, we need to recognize this mystery, which we celebrate today, the mystery into which we have been incorporated.

In just a moment, as we renew our baptismal vows, we will once again renounce Satan and all his works and all his empty promises and we will once again profess our faith in God the Father, in Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Spirit. And just as this Cathedral, which this morning was empty, is now once again filled with beauty and will once again be filled with our Resurrected Lord, so too this temple of our body is restored to its beauty and will also be filled with Our Resurrected Lord in whom we profess our Easter faith.

And as we rejoice, we take hold again of our calling, the mission that we receive this night: that of bringing to others the same invitation to faith that we ourselves have received.

As we celebrate our Easter joy, please look for the ways in which you too can be its messengers. In the words of Pope Francis, we are to be a people who share with others the simple joy of knowing, personally, Christ Jesus.

Let each of us try to bring others to this Easter feast and its promise of fulfilment in heaven. Let us really show our faith by the way we live!

A happy and joyful Easter to you all!


Bishop Leslie Tomlinson