Reflections

Reflections

REFLECTIONS ON THE READINGS FOR THE EASTER VIGIL, CYCLE C
REFLECTIONS ON THE READINGS FOR THE EASTER VIGIL, CYCLE C
Genesis 1:1-2:2; Psalm 103:1-2,5,10,12-14a,24,35b;  Genesis 22:1-18; Psalm 15:5,8-11; Exodus 14:15-15:1; Ex 15:1-6,17-18; Isaiah 54:5-14; Psalm 29:1,4-6,11-12a,13b; Isaiah 55:1-11; Is 12:2-6; Baruch 3:9-15,32-4:4; Ps 18:8-11; Ezekiel 36:16-17a,18-28; Psalm 41:3,5/Ps 42:3-4; Romans 6:3-11; Psalm 117:1-2,15b,17,22-23; Luke 24:1-12

Easter is the first and in one sense the only Christian festival.  Yet even the first Easter is connected in the Gospels with the Jewish Passover which celebrates the saving of the Israelites from death in Egypt and their coming to live as the People of God.  This night, those who are to be baptised and those of us whose baptism is renewed become part of this story of salvation.  The nine scripture readings show the unceasing life-giving/life-restoring action of God throughout the history of God’s people, Israel.  With and through Christ during this Easter Vigil, we Christians are able to become part of this history.

The first reading from Genesis speaks of God as the source of the whole of creation, with men and women created in God’s own image and likeness.  The climax is reached on the Seventh Day, which is beyond creation, the Sabbath, on which God rested, a rest shared by humanity.  It is the sign of a special relationship between them and the symbol of the eternal rest, the final redemption, the day without end.  This holy night is our guarantee of the eternity of God’s creative and redemptive action within our lives.  Psalm 103 sings of the glory of God’s creation, with our own prayer that God’s spirit might renew our earth.  The second Genesis reading speaks of the obedience of Abraham and Isaac, which results in God-given life for Israel, and is followed by Psalm 15, a prayer of deep trust.  Its reference to being rescued from death is deeply fitting for this Easter night.

The Exodus readings tell of the greatest act of deliverance in Israel’s history: God’s rescue of His people from the waters of death as they crossed the sea in safety.  It is a symbol of our own redemption in the waters of baptism.  The song celebrating God’s victory over the sea is probably one of the oldest pieces of Hebrew poetry, sung by Jews for over three thousand years, and we join them as we sing of God’s continuing redemptive action in our own lives.  


 
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Reflections