Sermon: Easter Day

In the powerful Easter Vigil Liturgy we move from darkness into light, from death to life. My words normally just clutter this beauty, so this year, less will have to make do as more…

In the name of the +Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

Alleluia! Christ is risen!
He is risen indeed! Alleluia!

Today in the vigil liturgy we renew our baptismal promises. We make these solemn vows along with millions upon millions of our brothers and sisters throughout the world. In one sense, Lent has been a journey to precisely this moment of re-dedication and renewal. We have been on retreat and have sought to turn away from sin, seek God’s forgiveness and grow closer to him, so that the renewal of our baptismal promises may be more efficacious, meaningful and powerful.

The renewal of our baptismal promises is a public declaration of our intention to continue in the way of the Lord and live the life in the power of the Holy Spirit.

Contemplate the following words of St Cyril of Jerusalem who reminds us that renewing our baptismal promises is an expression of resurrection life, revealing the direction and focus of our lives:

‘What did you say then, each of you, as you stood there? “I renounce you, Satan, wicked and cruel tyrant!” And you asserted: “Henceforth, I am no longer in your power. For Christ destroyed that power by sharing with me a nature of flesh and blood. He destroyed death by dying; never again shall I be enslaved by you. I renounce you, crafty serpent full of deceit! I renounce you who lurk in ambush, who pretend friendship but have been the cause of every iniquity, who instigated the sin of our first parents! I renounce you, Satan, author and abettor of every evil.”

He continues:

“Do you understand, then, how Christ has united his bride to himself and what food he gives, us all to eat? By one and the same food we are both brought into being and nourished. As a woman nourishes her child with her own blood and milk, so does Christ unceasingly nourish with his own blood those to whom he himself has given life.’

And then:

‘God our Father, Creator of all, today is the day of Easter joy. This is the morning on which the Lord appeared to men who had begun to lose hope and opened their eyes to what the Scriptures foretold: that first he must die, and then he would rise and ascend into his Father’s glorious presence. May the risen Lord breathe on our minds and open our eyes that we know him in the breaking of bread and follow him in his risen life. Grant this through Jesus Christ our Lord to the glory of the Father.’

Alleluia! Christ is risen!
He is risen indeed! Alleluia!