Easter Vigil 2012

On Good Friday here at St. Vincent de Paul and millions of people throughout the world gathered to venerate the Cross of the Lord, and as I was watching the people coming forward, I was imagining the problems that many of them faced: this lady was sick, that man just lost his son, this lady gets a horrible divorce... every person who came up had concerns and pain. And still they processed to venerate the cross every person trusted in the Lord to guide her or his life. At the end of the day all of us are overwhelmed by the Power of the Cross for when we give all our problems Jesus finds ways for us to grow in love and grow closer to Him. And then our difficulties become occasions for putting our faith into action[1]. When we hurt too badly to pray, then we need to make our hurt our prayer. When we are afraid of being excluded because we live by the moral code of sacrificial love, then we need to love them better with the Love of the Lord. We Christians, we Catholics, are not just insignificant entities among God’s creation. Of course our lives are imperfect.  But the Perfect is waiting for us. There is so much more waiting for us. There is so much more than the senses can reveal.  “Life is worth living –to quote the great Bishop Fulton J. Sheen- life is worth living when it is lived for Christ.

The flowers, the candles, the music, and all the Easter decoration is a symbol of the Life worth living; symbols that the world has been transformed by the Power of the Cross. There is hope in the world.  That Hope is Jesus Christ whom resurrection we celebrate tonight.

Rich or poor, hurting or healthy, no matter what our present situation may be, we need to keep our focus on the Lord. We have to stop defining ourselves by what we have or by what we do: we need to be defined by whom we are: we are Christian, we are Catholics. And what does that mean? That means that we are enthusiastic about God and His misteries. Everything about our lives belongs to the Lord. Every attitude of our lives must reflect His Love and His Presence. We must be completely guided by the Love of the Lord…

My brothers and sisters of the RCIA: This especial night for each one of you: you will reborn tonight, and then you will be able to say “this is our Christian dignity! We are followers of Christ and sharers of His resurrected life”.

Alleluia! We proclaim today as Church.  Alleluia, praise the Lord.  Jesus is alive.  He is our Savior.  He is our Redeemer.  And He is ours. And whatever life throws at us, well, that we give to Him, for the Power of the Cross conquers all ■

[1] Readings: Isaiah 52:13, 53:12, Psalm 31:2, 6, 12-13, 15-17, 25, Hebrews 4:14-16; 5:7-9, John 18:1 -- 19:42

Y entonces uno se queda con la Iglesia, que me ofrece lo único que debe ofrecerme la Iglesia: el conocimiento de que ya estamos salvados –porque esa es la primera misión de la Iglesia, el anunciar la salvación gracias a Jesucristo- y el camino para alcanzar la alegría, pero sin exclusividades de buen pastor, a través de esa maravilla que es la confesión y los sacramentos. La Iglesia, sin partecitas.

laus deo virginique matris