Proclaim the Resurrection!

Proclaim the Resurrection!

In this beautiful homily for the Easter Vigil, Year C, Father Hanly enjoins us to proclaim the Resurrection.

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Readings for the Easter Vigil in the Holy Night of Easter, Year C

  • First Reading: Genesis 1:1–2:2 or 1:1, 26-31
  • Responsorial Psalm: Psalms 104:1-2, 5-6, 10, 12, 13-14, 24, 35, or Psalms 33:4-5, 6-7, 12-13, 20-22
  • Second Reading: Genesis 22:1-18 or 22:1-2, 9, 10-13, 15-18
  • Responsorial Psalm: Psalms 16:5, 8, 9-10, 11
  • Third Reading: Exodus 14:15–15:1
  • Responsorial Psalm: Exodus 15:1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 17-18
  • Fourth Reading: Isaiah 54:5-14
  • Responsorial Psalm: Psalms 30:2, 4, 5-6, 11-12, 13
  • Fifth Reading: Isaiah 55:1-11
  • Responsorial Psalm: Isaiah 12:2-3, 4, 5-6
  • Sixth Reading: Baruch 3:9-15, 32–4:4
  • Responsorial Psalm: Psalms 19:8, 9, 10, 11
  • Seventh Reading: Ezekiel 36:16-28
  • Responsorial Psalm: Psalms 42:3, 5; 43:3, 4, or Isaiah 12:2-3, 4, 5-6, or Psalms 51:12-13, 14-15, 18-19
  • Epistle: Romans 6:3-11
  • Responsorial Psalm: Psalms 118:1-2, 16, 17, 22-23
  • Gospel: Luke 24:1-12



This evening is the most important liturgical service throughout the church year. And, of course, as you know, very shortly, we welcome new members into the church on every level.

The sacraments of initiation into the church are three.  There is, of course, Baptism, and then there is Confirmation and Holy Communion.

And some of our children are at the first stage and our adults at the final stage.  And so we congratulate them all and welcome them to this most happy occasion.

The Resurrection, of course, is at the soul and centre of everything that we believe in and hope for and love. And this evening is no exception.

To understand the past three days…

At the Last Supper, we dined with Jesus our Saviour and we watched him wash the feet of his disciples to tell us that at the heart of the Christian ministry is love: God’s love, Jesus’ love and, hopefully, our love.

And, of course, that love is expressed in service. If there is no service, there is no love. And love without service is empty, and service without love is slavery.

And so it is that we come to the Crucifixion and the death of everyone’s dreams and hopes, when everyone runs away before the face of Jesus as he dies upon the cross saying, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

It is his final service. Everything, he gave everything, and, finally, he asked his Father to forgive us all.

Péguy, the poet, says that in that time the two arms of God…

Justice that must be served and Mercy that must be given, these are the two arms of God Almighty.

But when Jesus cries out, “Father forgive them, they just don’t know what they are doing,” he is saying we have tied the arm of justice and, from Jesus on, we only expect mercy from God.

Today, we proclaim the Resurrection.

In the story that we read just now, the women came to bury Jesus and found an empty tomb. And they saw two men there telling them that Jesus had risen.

And then they went and announced it to the other disciples. But the disciples thought it was all nonsense because it came from the women.

And yet, slowly but gradually, the realisation came about that the announcement of Jesus’ rising from the dead was true. It was true.

And then we are supposed, not just to announce that he arise from the dead, but we are supposed to proclaim that he has risen from the dead, which is quite different.

Announcing a fact is announcing a fact. To proclaim something, of course, is to do it with your whole heart and your whole soul.

When we proclaim, we are saying that not only did Jesus rise from the dead, but he lives on in us, each and every one of us.

And from that day on, if you are looking for God, you must find Him in human beings and not in the sky. For if God’s son Jesus lives, he lives in us. And the only way he can be found is if we live out that love and service of God Himself for each other.

So I thought, this evening, I would ask you to join me in proclaiming your resurrection, “Jesus Christ, Risen Lord, have mercy on us,” in this very short and lovely prayer by Lucien Deiss.

It’s done in stanzas and after each stanza I ask you to affirm: “Jesus Christ, Risen Lord, have mercy on us”.

Help us, O Risen Lord,
to proclaim your resurrection
by bringing good news to the poor
and healing the hearts that are broken. 

Everyone: Jesus Christ, Risen Lord, have mercy on us.

Help us, O Risen Lord,
to proclaim your resurrection
by feeding those who are hungry
and clothing those who are naked. 

Jesus Christ, Risen Lord, have mercy on us.

Help us, O Risen Lord,
to proclaim your resurrection
by releasing the captives of injustice
and all those who are imprisoned by their own sins. 

 Jesus Christ, Risen Lord, have mercy on us.

Help us, O Risen Lord,
to proclaim your resurrection
by welcoming the strangers
and by visiting the lost and lonely ones among us. 

Jesus Christ, Risen Lord, have mercy on us.

Help us, O Risen Lord,
to proclaim your resurrection
by bringing your peace to those who are in trouble
and bringing your joy to those who are in sorrow. 

Jesus Christ, Risen Lord, have mercy on us.

God, our Father,
who raised your Son from the dead,
help us to understand, we beg you,
that we conquer our own death
and rise with Jesus today
when we learn to live and walk in his love.

Love for a Father who gave his only begotten Son that we might be healed and saved,
love for a Son who has risen and will always be with us,
and love for the Spirit of love that brings us all into one family.

We ask you this grace through Jesus Christ,
who died for our sins,
who rose for our life,
and lives with us for ever and ever.


In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

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