Saturday, April 11, 2009

Bishop Finn's Easter Vigil Homily

Homily at the Easter Vigil, April 11, 2009
Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception
Most Reverend Robert W. Finn
Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph

"Very early when the sun had risen, on the first day of the week, they came to the tomb.
They saw a young man clothed in a white robe.
He said to them, “Do not be amazed! You seek Jesus of Nazareth, the crucified.
He has been raised. He is not here.”
(Mk 16: 1-7)

Jesus Christ is risen from the dead. Alleluia!

Jesus Christ, the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and end of all things has won the victory over sin and death! Alleluia!

Jesus Christ has broken the chains of death and risen triumphant from the grave. Alleluia!

Jesus Christ, the one Savior of the world, has redeemed us by His dying and rising. Alleluia!

Jesus Christ, the eternal High Priest has ratified the New Covenant in His blood, the one acceptable sacrifice that cancels the debt of our sins. Alleluia!

Jesus Christ has ransomed me and you with His precious blood beyond all value, and paid for us the price of Adam’s sin. Alleluia!

Jesus Christ, who by His incarnation has united Himself with every person,
has now Passed Over, from death to life.
He has carried us with Himself over the threshold of everlasting death. Alleluia!

Jesus Christ, our light, has pierced the darkness of this fallen world
with a new and radiant light which can not be extinguished. Alleluia!

Dear friends in Christ,

This night commemorates and makes new again the great mystery of our faith:
that Jesus Christ is truly risen.
He has opened paradise in hope for all who place their trust and faith in Him.
We must choose to live this new life in union with Him.
When we fall away from the life of Jesus Christ we must turn back to Him and seek it anew through reconciliation.
We must draw strength by worthily partaking of the food of immortal life:
the Holy Eucharist.
We must allow ourselves to be sent in mission as His Church.
We must be faithful witnesses to His truth in the world.

To our Catechumen,

In just a few moments you will be joined to Jesus Christ in Baptism.

Dear Candidates,

You will be united more perfectly to Him in the Church. You will receive the Eucharist, of which our Lord solemnly declared: “whosoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood will live forever and I will raise him up on the last day.” (Jn 6)

Our Lenten sacrifices and prayers have been offered for your sake,
and also so that the whole Body of Christ, to which you are to be more perfectly united tonight, will be a more pure and spotless bride for Jesus Christ, our Head.

You have studied and prayed.
You have allowed your hearts to be changed through an interior conversion.
Jesus Christ will now perfect your human efforts through the mystery of His love.

At the Exsultet, we sang: This is the night.
For you, finally, this night has come.
Alleluia! Thank Him.
Alleluia! Praise Him.
Alleluia! He has loved us eternally, now love Him forever.
Do not be afraid to live in His love.

Dear friends,

The mystery of Easter is not just a day.
It is a promise of eternal life in Christ such that those who would share in its benefits must be ready, by the living out of our lives, to share in its cost.

We all will be called to renew the promises of our Baptism.
We must renounce all that is not of God and contrary to His love.
We must renounce Satan, and all the false promises that he is so eager to make if we follow his way of selfishness and untruth.
We must live the Creed as sons and daughters of the Father in heaven.
We must unite ourselves in the Body of Christ which is the Church, and with all she teaches and proclaims.

But this Easter light is the pledge and promise we need to affirm, that all the sacrifice – the carrying of the Cross for love’s sake – is worth the goal of life on high that has been won for us – once for all - in Jesus Christ.

Jesus Christ is truly risen. Alleluia!

A Blessed Easter to you all.