April 15, 2017

Easter Vigil

April 15, 2017:  Holy Saturday / Easter Vigil

See some 80 connections with today?
Legend at bottom

  • More Easter Vigil Mass chants including fire blessing, candle prep, procession, litany of the Saints, blessing of water and acclamation, and florid dismissal
More settings of tonight's psalms
Pope Francis homily
Picture Mary Magdalene and the other Mary going to the tomb, in tears, walking wearily, finding it hard to believe it ended like this.  Picture their faces, pale and tearful.  Can Love have truly died?  But they remained steadfast, unable to accept things have to end like this.  In them see mothers and grandmothers, children and young people who suffer injustice and brutality, all who feel the pain of poverty or the sorrow of exploitation, those greeted with contempt because they're immigrants, the lonely and abandoned, those who see their children crushed by corruption, selfishness, or paralyzing bureaucracy.  Those two reflect all who behold human dignity crucified.
They mirror others too, perhaps you and me.  We can feel driven to keep walking and not believe things have to end this way.  We carry the promise and certainty of God’s faithfulness but also bear the mark of wounds, infidelity, ours and others', battles lost.  We know things can be different but grow accustomed to living with the tomb, with frustration.  We can even convince ourselves that this is life and blunt our consciences with escape that dampens hope.  We can walk as the women did, poised between God's desire and resignation.
Unexpectedly, they felt a tremor; the earth shook.  “Don't be afraid; he's been raised!”  This is the message this Holy Night passes on to us.  Life, which death destroyed on the cross, reawakens and pulsates anew (Guardini, The Lord).  The Risen Lord's beating heart is given to us, and we're asked to give it as a transforming force, the leaven of a new humanity.  In the resurrection, Christ rolled back the stone, but he also wants to break down the walls that keep us locked in our pessimism, our ivory towers that isolate us, our compulsive need for security, and our boundless ambition that can make us compromise people's dignity.
When the religious leaders believed the last word had been spoken, God broke in, upset the rules, and offered new possibilities.  Again God comes to meet us, to create a new age, the age of mercy.  This is God’s surprise for his faithful.  Rejoice!  Hidden in your life is a seed of resurrection, life ready to be awakened.  Proclaim the heartbeat of the Risen Lord.  Christ is alive!  That's what quickened the women's pace, making them return to tell the news.  Now that we too have visited the tomb, go back to the city.  Tell the news where the grave seems to have the last word, where death seems the only way out.  Proclaim, share, reveal that the Lord is alive!  He wants to rise again in all who buried hope, dreams, dignity.  If we don't let the Spirit lead us on this road, then we're not Christians.  Go; let this new dawn surprise you.  Allow his tenderness and love to guide you.  Let his beating heart quicken your faint one.
    • Gn 1:1-2:2  Earth was formless.  God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.  He separated light from darkness, created sky, earth, sea, plants, trees, sun, moon, stars, sea creatures, birds, cattle, creeping things, and wild animals.  God made human beings in the divine image, gave them dominion, looked at everything, found it very good, and rested.
    • Ps 104:1-2, 5-6, 10, 12-14, 24, 35  "Lord, send out your Spirit, and renew the face of the earth."  Bless the Lord; in wisdom you created and sustain everything.
    • Ps 33:4-7, 12-13, 20, 22  "The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord."  The Lord's works are trustworthy.  Blessed those God has chosen.  We wait for the Lord, our help.
    • Gn 22:1-18  God put Abraham to the test:  “Offer your only son as a holocaust.”  He went out and prepared for the sacrifice, but an angel told him to stop; he found and offered a ram.  “Because you obeyed, I'll bless you with land and descendants.”
    • Ps 16:5, 8-11  "You are my inheritance, O Lord."  I rejoice because you show me the path to life and joy and won't abandon me.
    • Ex 14:15-15:1  Lord to Moses, “Go with the Israelites, split the sea, and pass on the dry land.  The Egyptians will pursue you, but through them I'll receive glory.”  God led them with a cloud, they crossed.  Egyptians pursued them, but their wheels clogged, water flowed back, and they drowned.  The Israelites saw, believed, and sang.
    • Ex 15:1-6, 17-18  "Let us sing to the Lord; he has covered himself in glory."  I praise the Lord, my God, savior, strength, courage; he redeemed us and hurled Pharaoh's army into the sea.  Your powerful right hand shattered the enemy.
    • Is 54:5-14  The Lord, your redeemer, the Holy One, calls you back.  I abandoned you briefly but now take you back tenderly.  My love shall never leave you.
    • Ps 30:2, 4-6, 11-13  "I will praise you, Lord, for you have rescued me."  For his anger lasts but a moment; a lifetime, his good will.
    • Is 55:1-11  Come to the water!  Eat and drink!  Heed me, and you shall eat well; listen and live.  I'll renew the covenant with you.  Seek and call the Lord; God generously forgives.  My thoughts and ways are higher than yours.  My word won't return to me till it does my will.
    • Is 12:2-6  "You will draw water joyfully from the springs of salvation."  The Lord has been my savior.  Praise the Lord for his glorious achievement; proclaim his deeds and name.
    • Bar 3:9-15, 32-4:4  You've forsaken the fountain of wisdom!  Prudence, strength, understanding, life, peace, and wisdom are in God.  Receive Wisdom and walk by her light.
    • Ps 19:8-11  "Lord, you have the words of everlasting life."
    • Ez 36:16-17a, 18-28  I scattered the House of Israel because of their idolatry, but I've relented.  I'll gather you and bring you back, cleanse you, give you a new heart and spirit, and make you live by my statutes and be my people.
    • Ps 42:3, 5; 43:3, 4  "Like a deer that longs for running streams, my soul longs for you, my God."  Send your light to lead me to you, and I'll go to God's altar and thank you.
    • Is 12:2-4bcd, 5-6  "You will draw water joyfully from the springs of salvation."  God is my savior, strength, and courage; sing praise!
    • Ps 51:12-15, 18-19  "Create a clean heart in me, O God."  Give me back the joy of your salvation, and I'll teach your ways.  You'll accept my sacrifice, a contrite spirit.
    • Rom 6:3-11  We were baptized into Christ's death, buried with him so we might live a new life, united with him in the resurrection.  Our old self was crucified with him, that we might no longer be slaves of sin; we'll live with him.  Death has no power over the risen Christ.  Think of yourselves as dead to sin and living in Christ for God.
    • Ps 118:1-2, 16-17, 22-23  "Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia."  Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his mercy endures forever.  I'll live and declare God's works.  The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone.
    • Mt 28:1-10  Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to the tomb.  An angel rolled back the stone, and told them, “Fear not!  Look:  Jesus has been raised from the dead; go tell his disciples.  They went and announced it.  Jesus met them on the way:  “Fear not; tell my brothers to go to Galilee and see me.”
    New fire:
    Exsultet visual
    • Creighton:  Today we contemplate Jesus dead in the tomb.   Death is our ultimate fear, responsible for much of our lust, greed, denial, arrogance, hunger for power, and anxiety-driven activity.  Our physical beauty and strength, mental competency, all we have and use to define ourselves, slip away.  We'll all die and leave only a decomposing body.  The approach of death holds great power.  The "good news" we celebrate has no power unless we've faced the reality of death.  To contemplate Jesus in the tomb is to look our death in the face, and it prepares us to hear the Gospel with joy.  We're relieved that we're saved, liberated from the power of sin and death.
    Tonight we'll gather in darkness, representing what we've been reflecting on today. God raised Jesus from death.  We rejoice that death has no final victory over us.  We celebrate our faith that we've been baptized into Jesus' death so that we might have life with him.  As we behold the body of Jesus and contemplate our death, we prepare to receive the Good News of life.  The empty tomb is a sign that our lives will not end but be transformed.  Our reflection today and anticipation of celebrating the life tonight and tomorrow, can bring us peace, joy, freedom, and vitality.  If we believe death holds no power over us, we can walk with courage and freedom and give our lives away in love.  We were baptized into Christ's death, buried with him, so that we may have new life and be united with him.
    • One bread, one body:  "A day without Jesus":  The first Holy Saturday was without Jesus; he was in the tomb, and because of the Sabbath, his body couldn't be anointed or even visited.  Mary Magdalene spent the day waiting to visit the tomb the following day; the next day she awoke before dawn to go.  Today the Church relives that day:  the Blessed Sacrament isn't in the tabernacle, and Mass isn't celebrated; we identify with Jesus in the tomb.  The elders, scribes, and chief priests probably spent the day like they did pre-Jesus; they wanted to get rid of him because he'd upset their lives.  Do you want to go back to the life you had before Lent, or to receive the new life Jesus wants to give you?
      The Descent into 'Hell'/ Tintoretto
    • Passionist:  In tonight's gospel, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary find that Jesus is not in His tomb; they find an angel who tells them: “Don't be afraid!  I know you're seeking Jesus the crucified. He's not here; he's been raised just as he said.”  Jesus isn't in the emptiness of despair, fear, hatred, or anger.  He's won the victory for us!
    • DailyScripture.net:  "They laid him in a rock-hewn tomb":  Jesus tasted death for everyone, a real death that ended his human existence.  Since he died just before the Sabbath, he had to be buried quickly.  The bodies of executed criminals were usually left unburied as carrion, but Joseph of Arimathea spared Jesus this indignity.  Joseph was a member of the Sanhedrin that condemned Jesus but didn't agree with the verdict.  He was good, righteous, and looked for God's kingdom.  He honored Jesus by giving him a proper burial, fulfilling Isaiah's prophecy.  Jesus says, "Fear not, I am the first and the last, the living one:  I died, and I am alive for evermore, and I have the keys of Death,"  No tomb could hold him for long.  His death on the cross purchased our redemption and his triumph over the grave on Easter morning defeated death.  He was kept from decay and rose by divine power.  "You will not let your Holy One see corruption."  The mystery of Christ's lying in the tomb reveals God's sabbath rest after fulfilling our salvation....
    Dress legend
    • Blue in suspenders:  Water, God-created, of Red Sea, of baptism...; "I'll sprinkle clean water on you and cleanse you from your idols"; "You'll draw water joyfully from the springs of salvation"; "Come to the water"
    • 'Street light' tie bar:  "Let there be light"; the Lord is robed in light; walk by the light of wisdom; "send your light to lead me"
    • 'Plants' pin:  God made the plants
    • 'Fish with cross' pin:  God made fish; Jesus is risen
    • 'Bird,' 'cow,' 'lion' pins:  God created birds, cattle, creeping things, wild animals...; "
    • 'Apple' pin:  ...and fruit-bearing trees
    • 'Mountains' pin:  "You water the mountains"; "Though the mountains leave their place, my love shall never leave you nor my covenant be shaken"; "bring me to your holy mountain"
    • 'Star' tie pin:  God made the stars; Christ the Morning Star; "I'll make your descendants as countless as the stars..."; the stars shine before God
    • 'Sheep' tie bar:  "God will provide sheep for the holocaust"
    • 'Wood' tie pin:  Abraham took wood for the holocaust...
    • 'Fire' pin:  Fire for Abraham's sacrifice"should I offer a holocaust, you wouldn't accept it"
    • 'Hand' tie pin:  "Abraham, don't lay your hand on the boy"; "with the Lord at my right hand I shall not be disturbed"; "you'll show me delights at your right hand"; Moses' outstretched handYour magnificent right hand has shattered the enemy; The Lord's right hand has struck with power; the Lord's right hand is exalted.
    • 'Feet' pin:  They embraced Jesus' feet
    • 'Rams' tie:  Abraham found a ram caught by its horns to offer up in place of his son
    • 'Angel' pin:  Angel who stopped Abraham from sacrificing his son; angel led Israel's camp; angel rolled back the stone and sat on it
    • 'Chariot' tie pin:  Pharaoh's chariots
    • 'Horse' tie pin:  "Horse and rider he cast into the sea"
    • 'Phone' tie bar:  "The Lord 'calls' you back; 'call' him while he is near"; when God 'calls' the stars, they answer
    • 'Owl' tie pin:  "In wisdom you have wrought your works"; the Lord's decree gives wisdom to the simple; "who has found the place of wisdom?" "God knows wisdom"
    • 'Eyeball' pin:  The Lord's command enlightens the eye; "it is wonderful in our eyes"
    • 'Clear' pin:  "You drew me clear and didn't let my enemies rejoice over me"
    • 'Hearts' suspenders:  "Create a clean heart in me"; "I'll give you a new heart, replace your stony heart with a natural heart"; "My sacrifice is a contrite heart"; "my heart is glad because you won't abandon me"; The Lord's precepts rejoice the heart; you won't spurn a contrite, humbled heart
    • 'Bees' knees' button:  The Lord's ordinances are sweeter than honey; tiny bees made candle's honey (Exsultet)
    • 'Coin' tie bar:  "Why spend your money for what fails to satisfy?"
    • 'Stone' tie pin:  "I'll take your stony hearts from your bodies"; "angel rolled away the stone"; "I'll make your walls of precious 'stones'"; the stone the builders rejected became the cornerstone; they saw the large stone had been rolled back
    • 'Deer' tie pin:  "Like a deer that longs for running streams, my soul longs for You."
    • 'Peace sign' tie bar:  "Though the mountains leave their place, my covenant of peace won't be shaken"; "great shall be the peace of your children"; "learn prudence, strength, and understanding, that you may know life, light, and peace"
    • 'Grain' pin:  "You raise vegetation, producing bread"; "You who have no money, come, receive grain and eat"
    • 'Blood drop' pin:  "I was furious because of the blood they poured out, but I've relented"
    • 'Lightning bolt' pin:  "His appearance was like lightning"
    • Gold-colored accessories:  The Lord's ordinances are more precious than gold
    • White shirt:  "His clothing was white as snow"; on entering the tomb they saw a man clothed in a white robe; color of the day; "arain and snow don't return till they make the earth fruitful, so shall my word not return till it does my will"
    • 'Scroll' pin:  "I'll renew with you the everlasting covenant"

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