A homily preached for the Easter Vigil 2015
Dear brothers and sisters,
In all of the readings we have heard about life. All of them have been chosen in order to let us understand the very notion of life. So the goal of this sermon will be to summarize the different points of view on life that are spread out in today’s readings. May it help us to understand the meaning of the victory of life over death that we are celebrating tonight.
Thus in the first reading on creation we have heard that God is the source of everything. Thus God is also the source of life. God is creator of all kinds of life including human life. After six days of creation he looked at the Earth inhabited by living creatures and he found it very good.
The second reading showed us that God is not only the giver of the life but he has a right to demand back the life of man. So he asked Abraham to offer him his son Isaac as a holocaust. This story shows us indeed that God demands the life with a certain purpose. At that time he wanted to test the faith of Abraham and to give him his son back with an abundance of blessing and promises.
The third reading told us about God who defended the lives of his people. The Israelites passed through the Red Sea while the Egyptians army was destroyed. The water liberated them
from a life of slavery and let them pass
to a life of liberty.
life is not only about survival.
Life is also about relationship.
The forth reading from the prophet Isaiah told us about the desire of God
to share his life with us. He wants
to share his life with his people
like a husband shares his life with his wife.
In the fifth reading, the prophet Isaiah says that God wants to give us the word of life. He wants to speak to us in order to give us life. “Come to me heedfully; listen, that you may have life.”
In the sixth reading, the prophet Baruch says: “Hear, O Israel, the commandments of life!” God wants to teach us his wisdom because “she is the law that endures forever and all who cling to her will live.”
Finally, in the seventh reading from the Old Testament, the prophet Ezekiel says that we are incapable to accept the word of God and to live according to the Wisdom of God, unless God himself gives us a new heart and a new spirit. “I will put my spirit within you and make you live by my statutes, careful to observe my decrees. You shall live…”
It is with a new heart and new spirit that we can die to sin and to live for God. That’s what Saint Paul says in the eighth reading. According to his Epistle to Romans the baptised must think of themselves as “being dead to sin and living for God in Christ Jesus.”
But this new life comes from Christ. This life was strong enough to beat the death and make Christ to rise from the tomb. The Gospel mentions some witnesses of the power of this life. Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary mother of James as well as the Apostles Peter and John, all of them were witnesses of the power of God’s life. This is the true life and source of the life for his people. He came to this world like a light of a candle shining in the night. Those who accept to live according to this light, they will pass through the night of death to the light of everlasting life. They will pass to the life with God and his people.