Easter Vigil, year B Veillée Pascale, année B

“A young man dressed in white…said to them…there is no need to be amazed! Are you looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified? He has risen from the dead.”
Thursday 9 April 2015

Gn.1,1-2,2+Ps.103; Ex. 14, 15-15,1+Ct. Ex. 15 ; Is.55,1-11; Is. 54, 5-14+ ps. 29 ; Ez. 36,16-17a.18-2. ; Mk.16,1-8.

EASTER VIGIL, year ’B’

“When the Sabbath was over, Mary of Magdala, Mary, the mother of James,and Salome, bought spices with which to go and anoint him. And very early in the morning on the first day of the week they went to the tomb when the sun had risen. They had been saying to one another,’ Who will roll the stone away for us from the entrance to the tomb?”

These woman are wondering how they are going to roll away the stone from the tomb so as to embalm the dead Body of Jesus. When they reach the tomb, they are terrified, as the stone has already been rolled away.This means for them that not only Jesus in his message of Love has not been respected, but that He was not respected in the tomb either. “They have taken away my Lord and I don’t know where they have put Him!” Mary of Magdala will say. We have a whole new itinerary of faith to rediscover. On the eve of the Resurrection of Jesus, the Word of God reconstitutes the whole Mystery. God created his people and in these times that are the last, He sent His Son to be our Redeemer. In the first reading we see the marvels of nature bursting forth : ’Bless the Lord, my soul, do not forget all the marvels God has done for you !’ The second reading exalts God’s power in bringing it to cross the Red Sea. Ezekiel announces a new life : ’ I will place within you a new heart’. The Word of God does not come down from Heaven to earth without doing its Work : ’Your husband, ’says God, ’is your Creator.’ Mary Magdalen bears witness to this regeneration!

“But when they looked, they saw the stone-which was very big- had already been rolled back. On entering the tomb they saw a young man in a white robe seated on the right-hand side, and they were struck with amazement. But he said to them, ’There is no need to be so amazed. You are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified: he has risen, he is not here. See, here is the place where they laid him.” Heaven bears witness to the most extraordinary event that has ever occurred in the whole of the history of humanity! Jesus’ Mother, Mary, has never left Jesus, the One Whom her heart loves. She puts all her hope in Him. She is the one who opens up a way for us. She had never for one moment left him, from the moment He came into her womb until the time He was plunged down into the depths of death. She followed Him to the Cross, knowing that Love went beyond all the sufferings He endured, and that these sufferings greatly increased the Gifts of His Love. Mary had understood the Word in the Song of Songs : ’Love is stronger than death.’ This did not of course diminished her suffering ; when He had gone down to hell she had truly experienced the separation with Jesus and she had been in agony. But she lived this in Him, with Him and through Him.This is the itinerary of the Woman who had never stopped believing and whose fruit of faith is the Resurrection. This rushed into her heart like an explosion of Life, one that we desire to experience so as to have the same Life.

“But you must go and tell his disciples and Peter, ’He is going ahead of you to Galilee; that is where you will see him, just as he told you.And the women came out and ran away from the tomb because they were frightened out of their wits; and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.”

We too can recall times in our lives when we have been taken up by fear and distressful situations, and have been profoundly upset. In these situations, the Resurrection of Jesus will gradually take shape for it is first and foremost a personal, interior mystery. This is what this great Night of Easter teachers us. Jesus will come again to visit us with His Love. Mary’s way of faith, that of the Mother of Jesus, will become our own as we offer it up on this Easter Night. Arriving at the tomb with Peter, John sees, just as Mary Magdalen did, but he ’sees and believes’. John received Mary at the Cross, he took her as his own , he witnessed her agony, saw how she was plunged down into mortal depths, but he witnesses also how in an astonishing way her heart begins to grow warmer. In the darkest night of faith and in the secret of her love, something has started to

change within her.The apostles and holy women will go through the same transformation. On this day, we too can let our hearts swell with the Infinite Love God. Mary is the woman who had never stopped believing, she received an explosion of Life. It is the fruit of her faith in the Resurrection of Jesus.

On this Easter Night, let us ask for the grace to be renewed in our way of faith.