Easter Vigil Reflection


As we prepare to celebrate the Easter Vigil, the most holy of nights what is the context within which we our lives?


Our lives make sense only in the light of Christ's Cross and Resurrection

Sr Maria Boulding was a Benedictine nun in England.  She died from cancer and as she was preparing for her death she wrote,

"I was on a journey, a joyful journey full of interest, beauty, friendships and happiness.  I knew I must be getting near the end, and was filled with gratitude for all that had been given to me on this journey that had been my life.  At every stage along the road, I had been convinced that my experience made sense only in the light of Christ's Cross and Resurrection."


Sr Maria, as she was approaching death, was aware that she lived her life in the context of Christ's Cross and Resurrection.  It is also obvious that she had a great sense of the resurrection throughout her eighty years.  It is important that each of us tries to answer the question -within what context  do we live our lives?  If we can't situate events in our lives in a context we run the risk of losing our way. It is very hard to keep a perspective in life when we live like this.

In the sacrament of Baptism, which we will recommit to again tonight, God gave us the gift of a context to live our lives in. We all can live in the light of the cross and resurrection of Jesus.  What that means is that we can put the events - the story of our lives into the context of the life of Jesus.  When we do that perhaps we are better able to understand suffering but also better able to recognise joy. 

Often we seem to be able to recognise and focus on suffering more than on joy.  Suffering seems to have a more powerful hold on us.  

It was true at the time of Jesus too.  It is fascinating to realise that the people closest to him were so engrossed in their suffering - their despair and their fear - that they missed the most joyful event of all humanity - the Resurrection.  Nobody witnessed the resurrection.  The friends of Jesus weren't waiting at the tomb.  They were locked away in fear.  The context in which they were living their lives was one of fear.  This fear paralysed them.

Too often in our lives and in the lives of the people of God the cross overshadows the Resurrection.  The cross seems to be so much more prominent than the Resurrection - so much more powerful than the Resurrection.  However this is not our faith.  The Resurrection defeats the hold that the cross has on us.  Because of this night we can live our lives in the context of joy because we live our lives not just as people of the cross but as people of the Resurrection. 


Pray Psalm 29

Response: I will praise you, Lord, you have rescued me

I will praise you, Lord, you have rescued me

and have not let my enemies rejoice over me.

O Lord, you have raised my soul from the dead,

restored me to life from those who sink into the grave.

Response: I will praise you, Lord, you have rescued me


Sing psalms to the Lord, you who love him,

give thanks to his holy name.

His anger lasts but a moment; his favour through life.

At night there are tears, but joy comes with dawn.

Response: I will praise you, Lord, you have rescued me


The Lord Listened and had pity.

The Lord came to my help.

For me you have changed my mourning into dancing.

O Lord my God, I will thank you for ever.

Response: I will praise you, Lord, you have rescued me