Brothers and sisters, Glory to God in the highest!
On this Easter Sunday I want to share with you some awesome words and images that many folks never get to hear. These words actually begin the Easter celebration in the darkness of the Easter Vigil, illuminated solely by the newly blessed Paschal Candle. Most folks do not attend this liturgy that begins our Easter celebration. Take a few minutes to reflect on these words that begin the Easter Proclamation, commonly known as the Exsultet.
Exult, let them exult, the hosts of heaven,
Exult, let Angel ministers of God exult,
Let the trumpet of salvation
Sound aloud our mighty King’s triumph!
Be glad, let earth be glad, as glory floods her,
Ablaze with light from her eternal King,
Let all corners of the earth be glad,
Knowing an end to gloom and darkness.
Rejoice, let Mother Church also rejoice,
Arrayed with the lightning of his glory,
Let this holy building shake with joy,
Filled with the mighty voices of the peoples…
It goes on for quite a while, tracing God’s grace at work in our salvation history, and concludes by focusing on the new Light of the World, Jesus Christ, symbolized by the great Paschal candle prominently standing near the Ambo…. Altar of the Word.
…Therefore, O Lord,
We pray you that this candle,
Hallowed to the honor of our name,
May persevere undimmed,
To overcome the darkness of this night.
Receive it as a pleasing fragrance,
And let it mingle with the lights of heaven.
May this flame be found still burning by the Morning Star:
The one Morning Star who never sets,
Christ your Son,
Who, coming back from death’s domain,
Has shed his peaceful light on humanity,
And lives and reigns for ever and ever.
I pray this Easter will be the greatest Easter of all for you and your loved ones. I hope the unusual circumstances of this COVID pandemic will only serve to show more clearly the beauty and glory of our God who has overcome ALL the evil, sin and pain this world revels in.
Also, a reminder of patience and charity when coming to the church for Masses. More people are coming back but our protocols and restrictions remain. This is a challenge for ALL of us. Please remember it is all about protecting others. You, like me, may not like these restrictions, but this a great time, especially at Easter, to practice our charity and put into action what we believe and how we come to know the grace of God present in one another. Seeing our unity with our Lord and therefore one another is in fact the Peace we hear all the time in the Gospel. None of us deserves to be united to our Lord in His One Body… but here we stand as Easter people!
Go in peace, alleluia, alleluia!