READINGS:Â Â Acts 10: 34. 37-43Â Â /Â Â Psalm 118: 1-2. 16-17. 22-23Â Â /Â Â Colossians 3: 1-4Â Â or
1 Corinthians 5: 6-8Â Â /Â Â JOHN 20: 1-9Â ORÂ LUKE 24: 13-35 (for evening Mass)
HIS WORDâ€¦â€œAND HE SAW AND BELIEVEDâ€¦ FOR THEY DID NOT YET UNDERSTAND THE SCRIPTURE THAT HE HAD TO RISE FROM THE DEADâ€¦â€
my wordsâ€¦One of the most beautiful and meaningful liturgical symbols of the Easter Vigil is the PASCHAL CANDLE. It is the most dominant candle among the candles during the Easter Vigil celebration. To whom does it signify? Obviously, the Paschal Candle signifies Jesus, but not only to the person of Jesus but most of all, to His entire salvific mission. It reminds us of three major events in His life which can easily be recalled by calendar dates; namely, December 25, February 2, and the movable Easter Sunday date which for this year is March 27, 2016, today.
It should be noted that theprimary mission of Jesusâ€™cominginto this world is to bring LIGHT for the whole world. God sent Him as the true light of the world to conquer the darkness of sin and death. That is why, December 25 â€“ the theme of the liturgy is the light is born (â€œlumen natalisâ€); 40 days after He was born, February 2 â€“ He was declared by Simeon as the light to the nations (â€œlumen gentiumâ€); then on Easter Sundayâ€“ Jesus Christ is proclaimed as â€œthe light that no darkness can ever extinguish,â€ the Paschal light, the light to and of the whole world (â€œlumen mundiâ€). This is the entire mission of Jesus, His being the true light of the whole wide world. That is why today, we receive Him as our light symbolized by the candles that we individually carry today, and the candles that parents and sponsors carry on the baptisms of their children and god children. That is also the very reason why the best time of the year to receive BAPTISM is Easter Sunday.
Brothers and Sisters, why did Jesus have to suffer and die and then rise from the dead? The answer: Jesus had to suffer and die to give us an example or a model how we should carry all the pains and sufferings of life which usually climax and end in death. But He has to rise again to give us hope that there is everlasting joy and happiness beyond after all the sufferings and pains of life here on earth. The resurrection of Jesus also confirms His divinity; that truly, He is the Son of the Most High God. And thus, with His resurrection, Christ became the principle and source of our future resurrection. He does not only rise to a â€œglorious lifeâ€ for Himself but He also shares this new life with all the sons and daughters of the Father in the Holy Spirit.
Moreover, Jesusâ€™ resurrection is not only a proof of His Gospel; it is itself the message! In rising to new life Jesus tells Mary Magdalene that she can believe others and trust people again even if she has often been taken advantage. Jesus also urges John, the Beloved Disciple, to continue holding on to the tender love he has experienced with Him and in Him. And the Risen Christ assures Peter that he may fumble many times and commit mistakes, but he is always with Christ with His loving kindness, forgiveness, and considerations as a giver of second chances in life (366 Days with the Lord 2016: An Easter Sunday Reflection for March 27, 2016).
Brothers and Sisters, by our own baptisms we become children of God. The resurrection of Jesus Christ legitimizes our status as children of God and gives us hope that one daywe will be partakers of the glorious family in the Kingdom of Heaven. (ByÂ Fr. Julius C. Lupot)
MAY THE RISEN CHRIST BE OUR STRENGTH IN THE JOURNEY OF LIFEâ€¦