My dear brothers and sisters in Christ and my dear elect,1
The readings this evening for this evening’s celebration helps us to remember that our lives are not something casual or random. Beautiful readings!
Readings remind us that we are a part of something bigger, a greater plan. Something more beautiful than we could ever imagine.
What we learn from these readings is that all of creation and all of human history is God’s project, his handiwork. History may unfold in ways we do not always understand, but it is never outside of God’s loving Providence.
And this creation, this history includes you and me. We are a part of the story that God is writing in the world.
Every one us, each in his own way, is God’s work of art. Now, obviously we are a “work in progress,” aren’t we? None of us is God’s “masterpiece” yet.
But a great artist never creates for no reason. So there is a reason, there is plan behind each one of our lives. And God is going to keep working with us to help us become the people he created us to be.
In these past three days we have been re-living the great drama of the Paschal Mystery — the mystery of how Jesus Christ suffered, and died, and was raised from the dead.
But my brothers and sisters — everything that Jesus did during these three days, everything that we have been hearing about in our Gospel readings for these three days — he did these things to reveal the truth about God.
And what he reveals is this: that the name of God is Love, the name of God is Mercy.
And each one of us is born from this Love. Each one of us is saved and lifted up — and redeemed by this Mercy.
God so loved the world that he sent his only Son to share in our humanity. To suffer, to die, and to rise — for you and for me.
This is the meaning of Holy Week. This is the meaning of Easter. It is, in some way, the meaning of all creation.
So my dear elect, this is your special night tonight. This is a new beginning in the plan of love that God has for your lives.
God has known about this night for you since the beginning. So now it is time for you to experience the joy, the beauty, the love that God wants for each one of you.
Tonight you become a “new creation” in Jesus Christ. And tonight we welcome you into the family of God, his Church.
So what’s the next step on your journey, where is God going to lead you from here?
That’s the big question, isn’t it?
In the Gospel reading tonight, the angel tells Mary Magdalene and the women at the tomb:
He is going before you to Galilee;
there you will see him, as he told you.
So remember these beautiful words, my dear elect. All of us here tonight should remember these words.
Jesus has gone before us. He is still going before us. In every joy and every trial he will be with us — accompanying us, guiding us.
So stay close to Jesus. He is our Brother and our Best Friend. And we will see him more and more as we are following him, as we are living by the words he told us — his teachings in the Gospels, the example of his life that we find in the Gospels.
Life with Jesus is a beautiful adventure of love. There is nothing more beautiful, nothing that will bring us greater happiness — than to walk with Jesus every day and to share his love and tell others about him.
So, my dear brothers and sisters, I wish all of you and your families a happy and blessed Easter!
I entrust all of you to the tender care of our Blessed Mother Mary. May she help us to know the joy of Easter and the love and peace of our risen Lord Jesus Christ.
1. Readings (Easter Vigil, Year B): Gen. 1:1-2:2; 22:1-18; Exod. 14:15-15:1; Isa. 54:5-14; 55:1-11; Br. 3:9-15, 32-4:4; Ezek. 36:16-28; Rom. 6:3-11; Matt. 28:1-10.