My Dear Sisters and Brothers! We have reached the Paschal Vigil, the summit of the Triduum and in fact the summit of the whole year. However it is not the time to be tourists celebrating their achievement like those who climb the mountains. The Divine Word we have been given moves us on.
Let us listen to the young man in a white robe whom the women encountered when they went into the tomb of the Lord Jesus: ‘You must go and tell his disciples and Peter.’ The command: ‘You must go’ is rather easy to comprehend. However we are moved on from this Sacred Liturgy not to an aerobics class or for jogging. We are sent to ‘his disciples and Peter,’ for us they are the people around, to tell them: ‘Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified: he has risen.’
The Gospel of Mark we have just heard gave us an account of three women who went to the tomb of Christ. Did they see the risen Christ? They did not. Still, they were made the messengers of the Resurrection. We did not see the risen Christ either. Still, we are invited to be messengers of his Resurrection. Even more, we have assurance that the Resurrection has taken place and we are part of it. St Paul in the Letter to the Romans put it in these words: ‘When we were baptised in Christ Jesus we were baptised in his death; in other words, when we were baptised we went into the tomb with him and joined him in his death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the Father’s glory, we too might live a new life.’
Even if our life resembles the darkness of this night we treasure this Easter Vigil because this Vigil celebrates the light and new life even as the darkness overpowers the earth. Tonight is filled with the mystery and reality of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Our own mortality, which becomes evident in various ways, is also filled with the mystery and reality of Jesus Resurrection. From our own existential darkness we are sent to take the Good News of Jesus Resurrection to the people around us, to tell them that as they share in Christ’s death they will also share in his Resurrection.
Happy Gospel spreading. Happy Easter.