Easter Vigil

Church of Jesus Christ of the Universe

By Mauro

8 April 2023

(Translated audio)

These days, we have reread all the readings of the prophets of the Old Testament[1], and we could see how Jesus’ presence is alive in the writings of all the prophets and all the ancient readings. We could see how, right after original sin, God tried everything to lift up fallen man. Out of His infinite love for man, God made him go through a process to win him back completely on a purely human level, and more importantly, on a spiritual level. The culmination was Jesus’ work of redemption that we have experienced this week.

God re-edified man because He did not want to abandon His project to govern the universe together with man but bring it to completion; let us not forget that. Despite all we have to go through, the confusion and the problems, we are destined to govern the universe together with God. It is part of our identity because we are created in the image and likeness of God. Jesus Christ worked the redemption for us to become again children of God and to have the faculties of children of God. This path will culminate in the New Creation, and we have heard it tonight from St. Paul.[2] It will culminate in eternal life. Already here on Earth, the path gives peace, fullness and joy to those who undertake it despite hardships and trials. It gives meaning to life. In my opinion, we receive true fullness, true peace, when life has meaning and everything we do is valuable.

Through Jesus’ suffering, which we meditated on, and the Cross, which we adored yesterday, we cannot fail to understand God’s love, Jesus’ love for us. We realise that we are dealing with a God made man whom we can only love. Yet, if we love Him and draw close to Him, He both touches us and frightens us: His love is so great that we are afraid of Him. Thus, we may choose to stay close to Him by praying to Him from time to time, or we may choose to state that He does not exist. Letting ourselves be embraced by Him utterly scares us; let us be honest about it.

I believe that the time has come for us and for all to enter the resurrection, to experience God’s great love fully and to live it as spouses of Christ. However, encountering Christ does not mean giving up everything, living in penance and as slaves. It means living as children of God, giving meaning to our life. It means embracing life and living it seriously; it may even mean losing it while we are doing something WITH GOD. The results do not count; what counts is how we live. It does not matter if people will remember us or if we have left a mark; only how we lived matters.

When we welcome God’s love, we are certain that we can begin to collaborate with Him despite our limitations and sins. However, the greatest thing is that God does nothing without us. God has decided to collaborate with man, and if he does not collaborate, it means that man is missing. God could do everything without us, but He has chosen to collaborate with us and if we refuse to do so, he will not act.

This is truly a great mystery. He wants us to participate, to rewrite history, to build a new world. He wants to work with active, living, concrete people. Certainly, everything must begin from Him, and the people must be ready to give up their way of thinking and their selfishness, but primarily, they must commit themselves to this.

With tonight’s passage, He has given us the strongest of all weapons: He has overcome death.[3] If we fully understand that, all our fears will disappear. Lucifer rules and enslaves all of us through the fear of death. Yet, if we are sure that Christ has risen we say “Happy Easter; CHRIST IS RISEN” because He has overcome death, and He did it for each of us. What can happen to us or scare us? We can no longer die. Even if we do wrongs, He will recover us; if we sin, He will forgive us. The only thing we can do wrong is to run away from Him and refuse to be challenged by Him. Then, life will be truly difficult, complicated and full of problems.

Therefore, I say that for us as a people, although we are not many, the time has come to move towards life as risen people. As risen children of God, we walk towards God. We approach life to live it, to defeat death together with Jesus, of course, with faith. The least we have to have is the certainty of faith in Him. Then, with God’s strength, His grace and our faith, we will see all His promises come true. I think that some of us can say that they have already seen many things come true. It is time to BUILD with Him, as risen people with Him at the centre. If we have understood what life is, let us get to work, let us spend our lives for Him; there is no life without Him and life without Him has no meaning.

In these three days, from the agony at Gethsemane to when Jesus was in the tomb, the Most Holy Virgin Mary was the only one on Earth who continued to believe. It must have been difficult. She continued to believe that Jesus would be resurrected and that the Crucifixion had been willed by God. She would even have recuperated all those who killed Her Son. She was the only one on Earth who believed.

Why am I saying this? Because it is beautiful to look at Her like this and thank Her, but we must also unite with Her. Now we have Her faith; we have the faith of the whole Church that came before us, of all saints and all righteous; we have the faith of the faithful of all times. Let us join that faith; it is possible. When your faith weakens, ask them for faith and strength. You have your Guardian Angel and the saints; ask them. Holy Mary was ALONE. She is happy to believe for us. If we ask Her, she will give us the gift of faith.

Unfortunately, and I say this without intending to offend anyone, we ask for many things, but we rarely pray to be able to live like children of God. We ask for the solution to a problem, for health, etc. If instead we only asked Him to help us to live as children of God and to be able to understand, everything else would be given to us in abundance: “Help me to live as a child of God.” I assure you that we will receive help and all we need.

That is new life. When St. Paul speaks of a new life[4] and when Jesus invites us to rewrite history, He means primarily our history. A people that rewrites history, will rewrite it for everyone. Let us remember that the Apostles set out as a group of twelve, not two million. Just twelve Apostles rewrote history, but they started from themselves. So each of us must say, “I want to live as a risen child of God. Help me!” I assure you that these prayers will all be fulfilled.

The world, society, is sick; it has lost the meaning of life. There is no one who shows the path to walk. Why? Because Jesus Christ has been set aside. We cannot say that we Christians are better than others. We do not allow Christ to guide and enlighten us either. Yes, we pray and go to Mass, but Jesus is not our life, except for a few, fortunately, otherwise, the world would have already ended. There should be a people to change history.

The world no longer understands the truth as it does not want to see it. Thus, it fails to understand the action of God who is at work even now. The world does not see Him because by losing Jesus, it has lost the light. He is the Way, the Truth and the Life[5]; He is the light of the world.[6] This is essential.

I am not saying this to dishearten you but to encourage you to live. Since we have understood this, let us begin to work! We hear that someone is looking for God among the poor. This is not right. The right thing to say would be, “I have met Jesus; with Jesus, I visit the poor and with Jesus, I go towards all poverty.” Material poverty is not the only one. There are many types of poverty in the world, and there is only one answer to all of them: Jesus Christ.

Remember that there is no powerful person in the world who can solve the crisis of these times; neither Xi Jinping, nor Putin nor Biden, nobody can do it. Only Jesus Christ can solve it, and we can collaborate by putting Christ at the centre of our lives. This is the faith that makes us live as risen people; otherwise, our life too will pass without leaving a mark. Do not forget that Christ HAS OVERCOME THE WORLD. The Gospel ends like this: “I have overcome the world”.[7] He did it and we, too, can overcome every kind of death WITH HIM, but we must roll up our sleeves because there is a lot of work to do.

Finally, as we heard in the reading: “Seek the Lord while he may be found” (Isa 55, 1-11). Do not wait. I bless you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

[1] See Isa 42, 1-7; 49, 1-6; 50, 4-9a; 52, 13-53, 12; Exodus 12, 1-8.11-14

[2] See Rom 6, 3-11

[3] See S. Caterina, “Beyond the Great Barrier”, Luci dell’Esodo, 2008, Chap. 14, where the fear of death has been explained; available on, https://www.lucidellesodo.com

[4] See Rom 6,4

[5] See John 14,6

[6] See John 8, 12; 9, 5

[7] See John 16, 29-33