The climax of the Sacred Triduum began with the Easter Vigil of Holy Saturday at 11:00 PM. Fr. Michael Champagne, CJC was our celebrant and homilist. The blessing of the Easter Fire took place within the cloistered patio so that all could be present. With the solemn lighting of the Paschal candle, symbol of Christ who is the beginning and end of all things, and Dave Domingue beautifully proclaiming “Light of Christ,” the spell of anticipation was broken–the Mystery of the Resurrection was again present to us in the Liturgy.
Once in the Chapel our joy was proclaimed in the glorious chant of the Exultet. “O blessed fault that won for us so great a Redeemer! . . . To ransom a slave, you gave us your only Son!” The Solemn Liturgy continued with the reading of Genesis by our Sisters accompanied by the organ and flute, followed by the other readings. The burst of joy could no longer be contained as the Gloria was sung, the organ played triumphantly and the bells were chimed for all to know: “Christ is Risen!”
Fr. Champagne gave a magnificent Easter homily. “Why do you seek the living One among the dead? We have to get rid of all pessimism and replace this with the Easter hope of the Risen One.” Father explained how when we are young and have a long life ahead we always think about tomorrow, filled with excitement. But as we get older and experience life we tend to look “in the rear-view mirror” to the “good-ole-days” and fail to see the beauty and God’s blessings in the present. “For St. John of the Cross,” he noted, “hope lies in the memory.” We must use this “rear-view mirror” to see God’s bountiful goodness and graces poured upon us throughout our life and not rest in the negative. Fr. Champagne said that it can be hard to hope when we see the situation of the world today; the evil present is almost unimaginable. “But we must not seek the living among the dead: we cannot put our hope in politics, in laws, in this or in that . . . Our hope is in God.” “What will they do, kill God? They already did that . . . and He is risen, He lives.” He concluded that we must be a people of hope and witness to this to by our life of faith. This is what will change the world.
Receiving the Risen Lord in Holy Communion, we each experienced Him calling us by name and revealing to us His Glory, just as He did to Mary at the tomb!