April 12, 2009

It is a glorious morning here in the Valley of the Sun.

Alleluia! Christ is risen! The Lord is risen indeed! ALLELUIA!

Last night St. Mary Magdalene parish held their Great Vigil of Easter outside, under a large canoy in the vast field that in just weeks will be filled with the sounds of earth movers as initial construction of their church building begins. The Paschal flame, lit to initiate the 50 Days of Easter that will culminate in the joy of Pentecost, came from a large wood pile that was stubborn to light due to the rain we had earlier in the day. Two large doses of gasoline from a large container took care of that, though, and, since I wasn’t going to receive at Communion anyways, I stayed behind as the rest of the parish proceeded under the conopy to help tend the fire, just in earshot of the proceedings.

As I’ve come to expect from this young, vibrant parish, those proceedings (i.e., music, sermon, atmosphere created) were all quite well done. Watching from my warm, orange-lit vantage point, I thought about Peter warming his hands by the fire outside as Jesus was being questioned by the authorities, then denying him three times before that damned cock crowed – I sure didn’t want to go there! So I made sure that as people drifted by to warm themselves I said hello and exchanged Easter greetings with them. As a dozen or so new people were welcomed into the Church through Holy Baptism, I couldn’t help but feel the first tinges of excitement at the thought that, at next year’s Great Vigil, if it be God’s will, I will be received into the Catholic faith.

But that’s for another day. Today’s a new day, and the spirit of renewal and Easter Resurrection fills my heart with joy. Rather than me blather on, Deacon Keith Fournier of Catholic.org offers up these thoughts as to the true meaning behind the joy I share with millions of others across the world on this happy morning:

The tomb is empty. Death could not contain the One who poured Himself out in Love. The light floods the once-dark cave and fills the entire world with hope. The debt has been paid, the last enemy death has been defeated, Hell has been conquered, the captives have been liberated, love has triumphed and heavens gates have been opened wide. He is Alive and all those who stand at the Altar of the Cross, believing in His promise, shall live forever in Him.

Life for a Christian is not circular but linear. It is always moving forward to fulfillment in Him. There is a beginning – and an end – which is but a new beginning in the One who is Himself both the Beginning and the End. Time unfolds into eternity in Him who has entered time and transformed it by His life, death and Resurrection. That Glorious Day, understood by the Church as the first day of the new creation, that Day that the early Christians called the “Eighth Day”; is now upon us. It is the portal to eternity. He is the firstborn, the first-fruits of a new creation and is making all things new now, within us and around us.

Life reigns. Death dies, dealt a fatal blow at the hands of the Warrior of love. Through sin, death came into the world, and now through the Sinless One it has been vanquished. No longer an enemy it is a friend, an ally, to those who live their lives in the One who has been raised. No longer an end it becomes a new beginning for all who hide their lives in His wounded side and live their lives forever joined to Him. Nothing can separate us from that Love incarnated in the Crucified, Risen Son of the True and Living God.

Happy Easter to everyone from all the Goodboys and Goodboys Nation weblog!

Alleluia, Christ is risen! The Lord is risen indeed! ALLELUIA!

Filed in: Religion & Culture by The Great White Shank at 09:42 | Comments (0)
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