Lectionary Reflections: Easter Vigil – Holy Saturday [a] April 15, 2017

Engaging Faith | Mon, Apr 10, 2017

By John Bucki, S.J.
Source: Education for Justice

Easter Vigil – Holy Saturday

April 15, 2017


Genesis 1:1-2:2

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 36:16-17a, 18-28

Romans 6:3-11

Luke 24:1-12



I ask everyone with political responsibility to remember two things: human dignity and the common good. 

-Pope Francis @Pontifex, May 1, 2014

Let us ask the Father of mercies to enable us to live fully the faith graciously bestowed upon us on the day of our Baptism and to bear witness to it freely, joyfully and courageously. This will be the best service we can offer to the cause of Christian unity, a service of hope for a world still torn by divisions, conflicts and rivalries. 

-Pope Francis, March 20, 2013

Christ is looking for men and women who will help him to affirm his victory using his own weapons: the weapons of justice and truth, mercy, forgiveness and love. 

-Benedict XVI, Urbi et Orbi Message, Easter 2009

Rising from the waters of the Baptismal font, every Christian hears again the voice that was once heard on the banks of the Jordan River: "You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased."

-John Paul II, Christifideles Laici, 11

It would be a contradiction to settle for a life of mediocrity, marked by a minimalist ethic and a shallow religiosity. To ask catechumens: "Do you wish to receive Baptism?" means at the same time to ask them: "Do you wish to become holy?" It means to set before them the radical nature of the Sermon on the Mount.”

-John Paul II, Novo Millennio Inuente, 31

We, like Peter and the women, cannot discover life by being sad, bereft of hope. Let us not stay imprisoned within ourselves, but let us break open our sealed tombs to God – each of us knows what they are – so that he may enter and grant us life.  ….  We see and will continue to see problems both within and without. They will always be there. But tonight it is important to shed the light of the Risen Lord upon our problems, and in a certain sense, to “evangelize” them. To evangelize our problems. Let us not allow darkness and fear to distract us and control us; we must cry out to them: the Lord “is not here, but has risen!” (v. 6). He is our greatest joy; he is always at our side and will never let us down.

-Pope Francis, Easter Vigil Homily, March 26, 2016


Thoughts for Your Consideration

Easter Resurrection is about power, liberation and freedom, but not the power of dominating control or of manipulating others.  It is not about the power of a large corporation or bank. It is not control by military force or the use of torture or the manipulation of the mass media or the triumph of money. It is not the power of the media or political insiders. Rather it is the power of non-violent, active, generous love and solidarity.  It is the power that comes from a faith rooted in the great story of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. The readings at the Easter vigil highlight the great story of God working in our world over a long period of time for our liberation and life. This great story of liberation continues today even in the midst of our human frailties. 

The Easter story is a story of faith.  It is in a spirit of faith and courage that the women went early in the morning to anoint the body of Jesus. The women discovered an empty tomb.  They dealt with a mystery – a puzzle – a great grace. They were invited by the angles in dazzling garments to look in at things in a new way and to become the first sharers of the good news.  It is this spirit that is needed as we too venture out to the “tombs” and “dark places” of our day.  It is this spirit that calls our church to “the frontiers.”

To read the rest of this reflection from John Bucki, S.J., as well as his reflection questions, faith in action links, prayers of intercession, and prayer meditations, become a member of Education for Justice:

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