Easter Vigil – Pope’s Homily

“After the Sabbath” (Mt 28:1), the women went to the tomb. This is how the Gospel of this holy Vigil began: with the Sabbath. It is the day of the Easter Triduum that we tend to neglect as we eagerly await the passage from Friday’s cross to Easter Sunday’s Alleluia. This year however, we are experiencing, more than ever, the great silence of Holy Saturday. We can imagine ourselves in the position of the women on that day. They, like us, had before their eyes the drama of suffering, of an unexpected tragedy that happened all too suddenly. They had seen death and it weighed on their hearts. Pain was mixed with fear: would they suffer the same fate as the Master? Then too there was fear about the future and all that would need to be rebuilt. A painful memory, a hope cut short. For them, as for us, it was the darkest hour. Continue reading

Covenant People

This Easter Vigil, the “homily” is presented in a different way. We chose to have an introduction before each Old Testament Reading that began to thematically weave together the homily message and then conclude during the homily proper. The picture above is our church during the procession of light. A reminder of the richness of the Vigil liturgy. Continue reading

The Easter Vigil Gospel

Next Sunday is the Easter Sunday. Next Saturday evening is the Easter Vigil. You can read a complete commentary on the Vigil Gospel here.

1 After the sabbath, as the first day of the week was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the tomb. 2 And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, approached, rolled back the stone, and sat upon it. 3 His appearance was like lightning and his clothing was white as snow. 4 The guards were shaken with fear of him and became like dead men. 5 Then the angel said to the women in reply, “Do not be afraid! I know that you are seeking Jesus the crucified. 6 He is not here, for he has been raised just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. 7 Then go quickly and tell his disciples, ‘He has been raised from the dead, and he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him.’ Behold, I have told you.” 8 Then they went away quickly from the tomb, fearful yet overjoyed, and ran to announce this to his disciples. 9 And behold, Jesus met them on their way and greeted them. They approached, embraced his feet, and did him homage. 10 Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go tell my brothers to go to Galilee, and there they will see me.”  [the Easter reading ends with v.10] Continue reading

A season within a season

Word gets around. Visitors or parishioners will sometimes stop me on the sidewalk in front of church and remark, “I heard you were in the Navy…” This is, of course, a prelude to reminisce, tell sea stories, recount homeports and ports-of-call, and all manner of things true and…. well, sea stories. Back in the day I was conversant in all the acronyms of naval service of the day. If someone asked if I ever did a loop through AUTEC, I knew what they were talking about. If someone said, “Bravo Zulu,” I understood. “COMNAVSEASYSCOM” – got it… but this century has a whole lot of new acronyms that just evade my comprehension. Continue reading

Holy Week – have you tried it?

I have been a Catholic all my life, and yet somehow Holy Week was not part of the landscape of my Catholicism growing up. Years later as an adult I was living in Northern Virginia and worshipping at a church out in a rural town northwest of Washington D.C. The town was in the rolling hills of the Catoctin – the first ridge of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Continue reading

The Light of Christ Has Come Into the World

tn_2013 Easter 2At my first Easter Vigil, years ago, I brought with me all the sense of confusion that had been building throughout Holy Week.  A Holy Thursday Mass that did not seem to end in the usual manner but just silently ended with a procession and the stripping of the altar.  A Good Friday liturgy of the Lord’s Passion that ended with the gathering darkness of the sky and Jesus breathing his last upon the cross.  Lost. Our savior had died – everything seemed dark. Continue reading