Daily Reflection
April 7th, 2007

Richard Hauser, S.J.

Rector and Theology Dept.
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Easter Vigil

The Easter Vigil Readings

What are the greatest blessings God gives us human beings? Throughout the years my response to this question has varied: family, friends, talents, personal accomplishments, health. But as I have grown older I notice my response becoming clearer and simpler: the greatest blessing God gives human beings is faith in Jesus Christ.

Tonight’s Easter Vigil liturgy in majestic scriptural proclamations formally reviews God’s blessings to our planet from the blessings of creation to the blessings of salvation history to the blessing of Jesus.

And the Holy Saturday liturgy invites us not only to remember the universal history of God’s blessings to our planet but also to recall our personal participation in these blessings, the participation in this newness of life that began with our baptism into Jesus.

Ezekiel prophesizes this new birth in Christ, “I will sprinkle clean water upon you to cleanse you from all your impurities, and from all your idols I will cleanse you. I will give you a new heart and place a new spirit within you, taking from your bodies your stony hearts and giving you natural hearts. I will put my spirit within you and make you live by my statues, careful to observe my decrees.” (Ezekiel 36)

And Paul invites us to recall the most important day of our lives, the day we were formally inserted into Christ through baptism, “Are you unaware that we who were baptized in Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were indeed buried with him through baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might live in newness of life.” (Romans 6)

Then with the entire assembly — and with the soon to be initiated new members -- we are asked to reaffirm publicly our faith: “Do you believe in God, the Father Almighty, creator of heaven and earth? Do you believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son our Lord? Do you believe in the Holy Spirit?”

“We do!”

We are now ready to celebrate the event precipitating newness of life for our planet and for ourselves: the Resurrection.

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