Homily - Easter Vigil - He is not here He has risen

Homily (Sermon)

The Easter Triduum - The Easter Vigil

“He is not here; He has risen."

Homily – 2013 – Easter Vigil Year C

The Readings for Friday 30th March 2013 The East Vigil

Genesis 1:1 – 2:2
Psalm 103
Genesis 22:1-18
Psalm 15
Exodus 14:15 – 15:1
Psalm Exodus 15:1-6, 17-18, Resp v1
Isaiah 54:5-14
Psalm 29
Isaiah 55:1-11
Psalm Isaiah 12:2-6 Resp v3
Baruch 3:915, 32-4:4
Psalm 18
Ezekiel 36:16-28
Psalm 41:3, 5   42:3, 4 Resp 41:2
Romans 6:3-11
Luke 24:1-12
[These readings can be found at www.universalis.com for the next few week.]

Over the past three days we have journeyed with Christ. We ate with him at the last supper, we watched as he gave us the priesthood, washing our feet as an example of service.

We eat His body and drank His blood, as He gave us himself to us, as the source and summit of our Christian lives, the Eucharist.

We stood with Mary and John at the foot of the Cross. We watched as our high priest, our king, found the only perfect thing to sacrifice, himself, for our sin. We watched him die.

We arrive now at the tomb, an empty tomb. We hear the words, “He is not here; He has risen.” Christ lives, Christ has defeated death, Christ's gift to us is life, eternal life, eternal life with him.


Alleluia. I have missed that word over the last 40 days of lent. We have been saving up our Alleluia's so we can use lots of them tonight and over the next 50 days of Easter. Alleluia, it’s a Hebrew word and it means ‘Praise God’. It's a joyous word and it only sounds right if you smile while singing it.

Tonight is a joyous time. Tonight is the high point of our liturgical year. Tonight we gathered outside, the family of God, drawn to the fire, a light in the darkness, keeping vigil for the light of Christ. Now inside the church, we welcome the light of Christ back into our world, into our church, into our lives.

We filled this space with our salvation history, told through scripture. We heard how God spoke the world into existence, the word of God, Christ Jesus, through whom all things were created, right there at the start of everything.

Isaiah calls all who are thirsty to seek the Lord, who is rich in forgiving. He reveals God’s promise to bring a leader to all the nations, a witness to all the peoples, a new and everlasting covenant. The promise of the Christ, the promise fulfilled in Jesus, His life, His Death and His resurrection.

God revealed to us through Ezekiel another promise, that he would wash us clean, as each of us has been through the cleansing waters of baptism. With this washing, God promised us a new heart, a heart of flesh, a loving and feeling heart. A heart that is dead to sin, a heart that is alive for God in Christ Jesus.

We know now that we have been saved, like the people of Israel being lead out of Egypt and through the Red Sea. We know our Lord and God travels with us as He travelled with Israel in that pillar of fire. The light of Christ burns in our pillar of fire, our Pascal candle, its flame divided as we entered the church, you each held the light of Christ in your hands, now let it burn in yours hearts.

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