Easter Triduum 2013 - Christ Is Risen

By Weenson Oo on 13:23

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At the Easter Vigil on the sanctuary at Westminster Cathedral, Father Alexander a priest, comes before the Archbishop and announces 

Most Reverend Father
I bring you a message of great joy
Christ is risen

In his reply, Archbishop Vincent Nichols spoke of  this Easter Vigil as a celebration of light and life, a triumph of light over darkness and of life over death. That in celebrating these truths and taking them to heart will every moment of our lives be transformed.

He then referred to the night's liturgy which placed the truth into its boldest context and invited us to grasp the deepest meaning of the triumph of our Risen Christ, the triumph over evil.

Reflecting on the beginning of the ceremony when the Paschal candle was lit Archbishop Nichols explained that the Paschal Candle symbolised Christ as the Light of the world, the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning of all things and it's end, The one to Whom all time belongs. He went on to say that nothing was beyond the reach of the victory won for us in the flesh and blood of Christ. That as St Paul had written, that when Christ died, He died once and for all to sin so we may have new life, so we could live free from the slavery of sin. 

Drawing on the recent words of Pope Francis, he focussed our thoughts on the ills of today where the reality of sin manifests itself in the wounds inflicted on humanity, a world riddled with economic conflicts that hit the weakest, where man's  greed for money which could not be taken from this earth in any event, caused great suffering.  How indeed habits of mind and heart become actions often repeated. Thus the importance of the light of this night, the light of Christ, was a reminder to us that the victory of Christ over sin was always available to us and that  His mercy and healing were to be found in every mass, in every confession. Tonight too therefore, we thank God for the ministry of the church through which this mercy comes to us.

However there was too another aspect of which we should be aware this Holy Saturday and it was that in Christ reaching out to Adam to bring him out of the deepest pit into the glory of new light and life, we too as a result of this enjoy the grace of the redemption of our past. It was vital too to reflect that this peace was only possible through the work, life and light of Christ. While the world would make different demands on us in seeking full payment for our past, in God's world, a different economy was at work. One, in which the offer of a redemption of the past and a surety for the future was always available. Even the most deep-seated of all our burdens, that of sin which hung like a  millstone round our neck, Archbishop Vincent reassured the congregation,  will be struck and shattered by Christ. 

Thus as it was written all who are thirsty would come to him and listen and our souls will live.  It was not though without taking on a special task, that of witnessing for Christ and taking the lead again from  Pope Francis that we should be looking to the youth of today to  bring us joy of faith which itself must be lived with a young heart. Then having extended his Easter wishes to the congregation along with his  blessing, the Archbishop had his customary meeting with his flock at the steps of the Cathedral.

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