Prayer of the Day
Holy Saturday – Easter VigilApril 4th, 2015
Easter is the most important feast of the year as it celebrates the resurrection. Without the resurrection St. Paul tells us our faith is useless (1 Cor. 15:12-19). The resurrection itself wasn’t witnessed by anyone. The women disciples were the first to find the empty tomb. Mark never mentions women disciples until the crucifixion scene when he says: “There were some women watching from a distance … These used to follow him”. In other words they were disciples. In Mark’s Gospel it was the women alone who had followed Jesus to the cross. The chosen male disciples had abandoned him when he was arrested (14:50). The story of Jesus’ burial was important because it established that Jesus had really died and the women witnessed where his body was placed. At the first opportunity, “very early in the morning on the first day of the week” these faithful women came to anoint the body of Jesus. What they found astonished and frightened them. A young man dressed in white who told them that Jesus had risen. At the Easter Vigil we celebrate the resurrection. It is a ceremony full of symbols – fire, light, candles and water. For this Vigil there are seven Old Testament readings which reflect key moments in salvation history leading to its fulfilment in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. There are two New Testament readings, the announcement of the resurrection in the Gospel of Mark (16:1-7), and the reading from St. Paul (Rom. 6:3-11) which explains that Baptism is an entering into the death and resurrection of Jesus. By accepting our baptism we commit ourselves in faith to Jesus Christ, a commitment which involves dying to ourselves. We no longer live for ourselves but only for God. This new life is possible through the power of Christ’s resurrection. During this Vigil we are given an opportunity to renew our baptismal commitment.