“THE LIGHT SHINES IN THE DARKNESS, AND DARKNESS COULD NOT OVERPOWER IT” (John 1:5)

⏰Easter Vigil (31 March 2018)

📖Gen 1:1 – 2:2; Ps 104:1-2a, 5-6, 10 and 12, 13-14 and 35c (R.v.30); Exod 14:15 – 15:1; Exod 15:1b-2, 3-4, 5-6, 17-18 (R.v.1b); Ezek 36:16-17a, 18-25; Ps 42:3, 5bcd, 43:3, 4 (R. 42:2); Rom 6:3-11; Ps 118:1-2, 15c-17, 22-23; Mark 16:1-7

My dear fellow pilgrim! I welcome you joyfully to this most sacred night, the mother of all nights, the night that gave way to our freedom. On this night, we celebrate symbolically, the victory of light over darkness. In our lives as believers, darkness means a lot. But in summary, we can summarize it as the activity of the evil over the children of God.

All over the scriptures, we see a constant battle between darkness and light. At the beginning of creation, darkness was reigning over the face until light came and pushed its dominion to a relatively little fraction of time that we call the night (cf. Gen 1:1-5). In the gospels, especially in the Gospel of St. John, the battle between darkness and light was significantly discussed in line with the activities of Jesus in the world that was bedevilled by the activities of the evil one. Right from the beginning, the gospel, the evangelist John already declared a victory of the light over darkness (cf. John 1:5). Clearly, Jesus declared himself as that light and assured that anyone who follows him would not be walking in darkness (John 8:12).

Consider those activities of this light! He was a terror over the kingdom of darkness to the extent that the king of darkness dreaded his coming. Indeed, the fears of the king of darkness was not unfounded. Right from the beginning, Jesus went about destroying his stronghold, healing the sick freeing the oppressed and attending to the needs of the poor and afflicted. With Jesus around, those who were blind received their sight, those possessed by the devil were freed and those who were headlong in sin repented. By his very eyes, the king of darkness was losing his kingdom. He needed to do something drastic, and he did; he got Jesus killed and buried in the darkness of the tomb. But that was his greatest error! I thought he was wise! But no! How could he had allowed the king of light access into his kingdom of darkness? How could he had forgotten that the light cannot be conquered by darkness?

Well, as the king of darkness was busy celebrating with his cohorts over their presumed victory, Jesus was busy releasing those who were held captive by the darkness of death. And when he was done with that, he came over once more into the world because death could not hold him hostage. But that is not the end of the good news! St. Paul declares today that those of us who are baptized in Christ Jesus shall rise with him and walk in the newness of life (Rom 6:3ff).

In a special way today, many of us shall embrace that new life significantly through the waters of baptism. Close to this baptismal water font, we are reminded of the waters of the Red Sea through which the people of Israel walked into their and in which their enemies got drowned (Exod 14:15ff). That tells us that all who follow Christ into his grave through baptism have nothing to fear again as they emerge from it. We have only to stay by the side and watch as the Lord himself fights our battle (cf. Exod 14:14).

As we celebrate this most sacred night, may Christ, the light of the world come into your life and in your family in special way. May he drive away all forms of darkness that the enemy might have planted into your life and your family and restore to you the joy of his salvation. Amen.

Happy Easter and may the peace of the risen Christ be upon you. Amen.

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