Genesis 1:1—2:2 or Genesis 22:1-18; Exodus 14:15—15:1; Isaiah 54:5-14; Isaiah 55:1-11; Baruch 3:9-15, 32—4:4; Ezekiel 36:16-28
The seven readings (if all are read) for the Easter Vigil follow something of the history of God’s intervention in our world, beginning with Creation and ending with reflections upon the promise of a New Covenant, a covenant of the heart. It is important for us to realize that we have a God who did not just create the world and then leave us alone. He has constantly worked with us in order that we might realize the full potential of our humanity. This is still an unfinished business and so we are still challenged as to how we are going to respond to God’s call of love. As we celebrate the Vigil tonight, let us listen to the readings and try to deepen our sense of God’s calling us into relationship with Him.
1 In the beginning, when God created the heavens and the earth, 2 the earth was a formless wasteland, and darkness covered the abyss, while a mighty wind swept over the waters. 3 Then God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 4 God saw how good the light was. God then separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” Thus evening came, and morning followed — the first day. 6 Then God said, “Let there be a dome in the middle of the waters, to separate one body of water from the other.” And so it happened: 7 God made the dome, and it separated the water above the dome from the water below it. 8 God called the dome “the sky.” Evening came, and morning followed — the second day. 9 Then God said, “Let the water under the sky be gathered into a single basin, so that the dry land may appear.” And so it happened: the water under the sky was gathered into its basin, and the dry land appeared. 10 God called the dry land “the earth,” and the basin of the water he called “the sea.” God saw how good it was. 11 Then God said, “Let the earth bring forth vegetation: every kind of plant that bears seed and every kind of fruit tree on earth that bears fruit with its seed in it.” And so it happened: 12 the earth brought forth every kind of plant that bears seed and every kind of fruit tree on earth that bears fruit with its seed in it. God saw how good it was. 13 Evening came, and morning followed — the third day. 14 Then God said: “Let there be lights in the dome of the sky, to separate day from night. Let them mark the fixed times, the days and the years, 15 and serve as luminaries in the dome of the sky, to shed light upon the earth.” And so it happened: 16 God made the two great lights, the greater one to govern the day, and the lesser one to govern the night; and he made the stars. 17 God set them in the dome of the sky, to shed light upon the earth, 18 to govern the day and the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. God saw how good it was. 19 Evening came, and morning followed — the fourth day. 20 Then God said, “Let the water teem with an abundance of living creatures, and on the earth let birds fly beneath the dome of the sky.” And so it happened: 21 God created the great sea monsters and all kinds of swimming creatures with which the water teems, and all kinds of winged birds. God saw how good it was, 22 and God blessed them, saying, “Be fertile, multiply, and fill the water of the seas; and let the birds multiply on the earth.” 23 Evening came, and morning followed — the fifth day. 24 Then God said, “Let the earth bring forth all kinds of living creatures: cattle, creeping things, and wild animals of all kinds.” And so it happened: 25 God made all kinds of wild animals, all kinds of cattle, and all kinds of creeping things of the earth. God saw how good it was. 26 Then God said: “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. Let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, and the cattle, and over all the wild animals and all the creatures that crawl on the ground.” 27 God created man in his image; in the divine image he created him; male and female he created them. 28 God blessed them, saying: “Be fertile and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it. Have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, and all the living things that move on the earth.” 29 God also said: “See, I give you every seed-bearing plant all over the earth and every tree that has seedbearing fruit on it to be your food; 30 and to all the animals of the land, all the birds of the air, and all the living creatures that crawl on the ground, I give all the green plants for food.” And so it happened. 31 God looked at everything he had made, and he found it very good. Evening came, and morning followed — the sixth day. 2: 1 Thus the heavens and the earth and all their array were completed. 2 Since on the seventh day God was finished with the work he had been doing, he rested on the seventh day from all the work he had undertaken.
P S A L M
Psalm 118:1-2, 16-17, 22-23 or Psalm 104 or Psalm 16; Exodus 15 Canticle; Psalm 30; Isaiah 12 Canticle; Psalm 19; Psalm 42 or Psalm 51
R: Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia
1 Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, for his mercy endures forever. 2 Let the house of Israel say, “His mercy endures forever.” (R) 16 The right hand of the LORD is exalted; the right hand of the LORD has struck with power. 17 I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the LORD. (R) 22 The stone which the builders rejected has become the cornerstone. 23 By the LORD has this been done; it is wonderful in our eyes. (R)
Paul reflects upon the nature of Baptism as an entry into the mystery of the death and resurrection of Christ and all that that means for us who believe. There is no greater mystery than the one that tells us that the work/mission of Jesus here on earth, when it is applied to our lives through faith, brings to us the gift of salvation. Paul has experienced a monumental change in his understanding of his relationship with God through faith in Jesus Christ (See Phil 3:7-15) and he wants us all to enter into a similar experience.
3 Are you unaware that we who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were indeed buried with him through baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might live in newness of life. 5 For if we have grown into union with him through a death like his, we shall also be united with him in the resurrection. 6 We know that our old self was crucified with him, so that our sinful body might be done away with, that we might no longer be in slavery to sin. 7 For a dead person has been absolved from sin. 8 If, then, we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him. 9 We know that Christ, raised from the dead, dies no more; death no longer has power over him. 10 As to his death, he died to sin once and for all; as to his life, he lives for God. 11 Consequently, you too must think of yourselves as [being] dead to sin and living for God in Christ Jesus.
G O S P E L
‘Jesus has risen from the dead! The tomb is empty.’ In some ways this last line is the most fundamental record that we have of the resurrection. People discovered an empty tomb. The quantum leap from the ‘empty tomb’ (fact) to ‘Jesus has risen from the dead’ is accomplished by faith and faith alone. We cannot prove that this is the case. If we could, there would be no such thing as faith in the resurrection – it would be a proven fact that we are all forced to believe just like 2+2=4. As we celebrate tonight let us be filled with joy with this Good News of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
1 But at daybreak on the first day of the week they took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. 2 They found the stone rolled away from the tomb; 3 but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4 While they were puzzling over this, behold, two men in dazzling garments appeared to them. 5 They were terrified and bowed their faces to the ground. They said to them, “Why do you seek the living one among the dead? 6 He is not here, but he has been raised. Remember what he said to you while he was still in Galilee, 7 that the Son of Man must be handed over to sinners and be crucified, and rise on the third day.” 8 And they remembered his words. 9 Then they returned from the tomb and announced all these things to the eleven and to all the others. 10 The women were Mary Magdalene, Joanna, and Mary the mother of James; the others who accompanied them also told this to the apostles, 11 but their story seemed like nonsense and they did not believe them. 12 But Peter got up and ran to the tomb, bent down, and saw the burial cloths alone; then he went home amazed at what had happened.
think: It is important for us to realize that we have a God who did not just create the world and then leave us alone.
God’s special verse/thought for me today________________
T O D A Y ’ S BLESSING LIST
Thank You Lord for: ____________________________________
READ THE BIBLE IN ONE YEAR 2 Kings 19-21