My Dear Sisters and Brothers! We are here tonight becomes Jesus truly rose from the dead.
His Resurrection fascinates us.
His Resurrection sustains us.
His Resurrection is the reason why we are Christians.
I was not surprised at the connection my students made between the rose colour and the Resurrection. Since that first Sunday morning when Mary of Magdala, Mary the mother of James and Solome discovered that Jesus’ body was not in the tomb Christians have been on the lookout, not for chocolate eggs but for the signs of Jesus’ Resurrection.
They have learnt that from today’s Gospel which is like a tutorial. The young man in a white robe was the tutor. The three women were the students. They learnt that the Risen Lord was to be found in Galilee, in that prosaic and ordinary place. The generations of Christians have attended this tutorial too. As they prayed and reflected on the Resurrection Gospel they have learnt that their ordinary and prosaic lives and places were filled with the signs that the Lord rose from the dead.
That belief that the Risen Lord is in our everyday life has guided the Church in recognising women and men as blesseds and saints. If it weren’t for the Risen Lord how you could explain Maximillian Kolbe offering his life to save a fellow prisoner in the concentration camp? If it weren’t for the Risen Lord how you could explain Mother Teresa of Calcutta and Mother Mary of the Cross Mackillop devoting their lives to the poorest of the poor? In those women and men of our Church we see the signs of the Resurrection.
However the Church wants us, gathered here to celebrate the Easter Vigil, to look into our own lives now. We may feel that we are far from the holiness of our saints. The message of today is this: You are closer than you may think. St Paul reminded the Christians in Rome and us that: ‘When you were baptised in Christ Jesus you were baptised in his death.’ Our Baptism drew us to the tomb of Jesus. What did we find there? We found ‘a new life’ because our Baptism has united us with the Risen Lord.
At times it is not easy to treasure this belief. Therefore the Church, who at every Mass says to us: ‘Lift up your hearts!’ invites us today to renew our Baptismal promises. It is truly consoling and uplifting moment to say that in the midst of everything that is happening in my life I choose to be by Jesus’ side. I believe him. I do.
When you take the Holy Water from this Vigil to your home, bless yourself and your place to remind yourself that in you and in your home there are signs of the Lord who rose from the dead.
When you take a candle to your home light it there and walk around your place praying so that the light of faith may help you to see the signs of the Lord who rose from the dead.
From now on I will always think of the Risen Lord when I see the rose colour.
From now on I will always think of the Risen Lord when I see a rose blooming too, a reminder that the Lord who rose from the dead leads me to my resurrection, when I will too bloom like a rose, because he rose from the dead.
The world is full of the Resurrection signs. Be on the lookout. Happy Easter!