April 20, 2019

Holy S / Easter Vigil

April 20, 2019:  Holy Saturday / Easter Vigil

See over 90 connections with tonight?
Legend below

  • 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

The women bringing spices to the tomb found a stone blocking the entrance, and feared their journey had been in vain.  Their journey is also ours; at times it seems that everything comes up against a stone, and we can think that dashed hope is the bleak law of life.  But today we see our journey is not in vain.  Easter is the feast of tombstones taken away, rocks rolled aside.  God takes away even the hardest stones that our hopes crash against:  death, sin, fear, worldliness.  History doesn't end before a tombstone, because today it encounters the ‘living stone,’ the risen Jesus.  What stone do you need to roll back from your heart?

Discouragement blocks hope; once we start thinking everything is going badly, we lose heart, become cynical, negative, and despondent.  The Lord is not to be found in the "tomb psychology" of resignation; he's God of the living.  Don't bury hope.

Sin seals the heart.  It seduces, promising things easy and quick, prosperity and success, but then leaves behind solitude and death.  It looks for life among the dead, for meaning in things that pass away.  Sin is like a stone before the entrance to your heart; it keeps God’s light out.  Choose Jesus, the true light, over the glitter of wealth, career, pride and pleasure.

The women, frightened, faces to the ground, didn't have the courage to look up.  Often we don't either:  glum and closed up, we feel in control, for it's easier to stay alone in the darkness of our heart than to open ourselves to the Lord.  Only he can raise us up.  “We never know how high we are. Till we are called to rise” (Dickinson).  Ask, “Am I gazing at graveyards, or looking for the Living One?”  Believers don't linger at graveyards; they're called to go meet the Living One.  That's why we need to ask where we're going.  Sometimes we just go towards our problems, seeking the Living One among the dead, digging up regrets, reproaches, hurts and dissatisfactions, not letting the Risen One change us.  Ask for the grace not to be carried by the current, the sea of our problems, not to run aground on the shoals of sin or crash on the reefs of discouragement and fear.  Seek him in and above all things; with him we'll rise.  Full text

  • 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
  • Passionist:  The day after Good Friday must have been long day for the apostles.  Were they together hiding?  Was Mary with them?  Their emotions must have been all over:  guilt, confusion, fear, disillusionment, remorse, hope....  Then came Sunday.  Did Jesus truly rise?  Having seen his power, I doubt they were too surprised.  But would he forgive them?  Peter denied him, and all but John abandoned him.  When he appeared to them, his first words were “Peace be with you.”  He forgave them!  He didn’t give up on them.  They were still in his heart.  The good news of Easter is Jesus' power of Jesus and his willingness to forgive.  The apostles experienced mercy, rejoiced, and could then be sent forth to proclaim his loving forgiveness....
    The Descent into 'Hell'/ Tintoretto
  • 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 (Gn 1), of Red Sea (Ex 14), of baptism (Rom 6)...; "I'll sprinkle clean water on you and cleanse you from your idols" (Ez 36); "You'll draw water joyfully from the springs of salvation" (Is 12); "Come to the water" (Is 55)
  • 'Street light' tie bar:  "Let there be light" (Gn 1); the Lord is robed in light; walk by the light of wisdom (Bar 3); "send your light to lead me" (Ps 42)
  • 'Plants' pin:  God made the plants (Gn 1)
  • 'Fish with cross' pin:  God made fish, gave us dominion over them (Gn 1); Jesus is risen (gospel)
  • 'Bird,' 'cow,' 'lion' pins:  God created birds (Gn 1, Ps 104), cattle, creeping things, wild animals,..."
  • 'Apple' pin:  ...fruit-bearing trees (Gn 1)
  • 'Dove' pin:  Lord, send out your Spirit (Ps 104); don't take your Holy Spirit from me (Ps 51)
  • 'Alps' pin:  "You water the mountains" (Ps 104); "on the mountain the Lord will see" (Gn 22); You planted your people on the mountain of your inheritance (Ex 15); "Though the mountains leave their place, my love won't leave you" (Is 54); "your light will bring me to your holy mountain" (Ps 42)
  • 'Star' tie pin:  God made the stars (Gn 1); Christ the Morning Star (Exsultet); "I'll make your descendants as countless as the stars..." (Gn 22); the stars shine before Wisdom (Bar 3)
  • 'Car with mouth' pin:  By the breath of the Lord's mouth the world was made (Ps 33)
  • 'Sheep' tie bar:  "God will provide sheep for the holocaust" (Gn 22)
  • 'Wood' tie pin:  Abraham took wood for the holocaust... (Gn 22)
  • 'Fire' pin:  Fire for Abraham's sacrifice (Gn 22); fiery cloud (Ex 14); "You're not pleased with sacrifices; you wouldn't accept a holocaust from me" (Ps 51)
  • 'Hand' tie pin:  "Abraham, don't lay your hand on the boy" (Gn 22); "with the Lord at my right hand I shall not be disturbed"; "you'll show me delights at your right hand" (Ps 16); Moses' outstretched hand; Your magnificent right hand has shattered the enemy; The Lord's right hand has struck with power; the Lord's right hand is exalted (Ex 14, Ex 15); he told you the Son of Man must be handed over, be crucified, and rise (gospel)
  • 'Helm' pin:  You will show me the path to life (Ps 16)
  • 'Feet' pin:  They embraced Jesus' feet (gospel)
  • 'Rams' tie:  Abraham found a ram caught by its horns to offer up in place of his son (Gn 22)
  • 'Angel' pin:  Angel who stopped Abraham from sacrificing his son (Gn 22); angel led Israel's camp; angel rolled back the stone and sat on it (gospel)
  • 'Chariot' tie pin:  "I'll receive glory through Pharaoh and his chariots..." (Ex 14, Ex 15)
  • 'Horse' tie pin:  "Horse and rider he cast into the sea" (Ex 14, Ex 15)
  • 'Phone' tie bar:  "The Lord 'calls' you back; 'call' him while he is near" (Is 54); when God 'calls' the stars, they answer (Bar 3)
  • 'Owl' tie pin:  "In wisdom you have wrought your works" (Ps 104); the Lord's decree gives wisdom to the simple (Ps 19); "who has found the place of wisdom?" "God knows wisdom" (Bar 3)
  • 'Musical notes with "joy"' pin:  You'll show me fullness of joys in your presence (Ps 16); sing praise to the Lord; joy comes with dawn (Ps 30); With joy you'll draw water at the fountain of salvation (Is 12); I led the throng to the house of God amid cries of joy (Ps 42); Give me back the joy of your salvation (Ps 51)
  • 'Eyeball' pin:  The Lord sees all mankind (Ps 33); his command enlightens the eye (Ps 19); In the nations' sight I prove my holiness (Ez 36); "it is wonderful in our eyes" (Ps 118)
  • 'Clear' pin:  "You drew me clear and didn't let my enemies rejoice over me" (Ps 30); The Lord's command is clear (Ps 19)
  • 'Golden calf' tie pin:  "I'll cleanse you from your idols" (Ez 36)
  • 'Heart' tie pin:  "I'll give you a new heart, replace your stony heart with a natural heart" (Ez 36); "Create a clean heart for me"; "You won't spurn my sacrifice, a contrite heart" (Ps 51); "my heart is glad because you won't abandon me" (Ps 16); The Lord's precepts rejoice the heart (Ps 19)
  • 'Bees' knees' button:  The Lord's ordinances are sweeter than honey (Ps 19); tiny bees made candle's honey (Exsultet)
  • 'Coin' tie bar:  "Why spend your money for what fails to satisfy?" (Is 55)
  • 'Jewel' tie pin:  "I'll make your walls of precious stones" (Is 54)
  • 'Boundless mercy' pin:  With enduring love I take pity on you (Is 54); turn to the Lord for mercy (Is 55)
  • 'Celebrate teaching' button:  The Lord will teach your children (Is 54); I'll teach transgressors your ways (Ps 51)
  • 'Stone' tie pin:  "I'll take your stony hearts from your bodies" (Ez 36); "angel rolled away the stone"; the stone the builders rejected became the cornerstone; they saw the stone rolled back (gospel)
  • 'Deer' tie pin:  "Like a deer that longs for running streams, my soul longs for You" (Ps 42)
  • '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" (Is 54); "learn prudence, strength, and understanding, that you may know life, light, and peace" (Bar 3); if you'd walked in God's way, you would have dwelt in peace (Bar 3)
  • 'Grain' pin:  "You raise vegetation, producing bread" (Ps 104); "You who have no money, come, receive grain and eat" (Is 55)
  • 'Silverware' tie bar:  "Heed me, and you'll eat well" (Is 55)
  • 'Blood drop' pin:  "I was furious because of the blood they poured out, but I've relented" (Ez 36)
  • Gold-colored accessories:  The Lord's ordinances are more precious than gold... (Ps 19)
  • Comb (not shown):  ...and sweeter than honey from the 'comb' (Ps 19)
  • White shirt:  "His clothing was white as snow"; on entering the tomb they saw a man clothed in a white robe (gospel); color of the day; "as rain and snow don't return till they make the earth fruitful, so shall my word not return till it does my will" (Is 55)
  • 'Scroll' pin:  "My love shall never leave you nor my covenant of peace be shaken" (Is 54); "I'll renew with you the everlasting covenant" (Is 55)

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