With Us On Our Way
In this beautiful homily for the Easter Vigil, Year A, Father Hanly invites us to pause and marvel at the fact that Jesus rose from the dead to stay with us and walk with us on our way.
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Readings for the Easter Vigil in the Holy Night of Easter, Year A
- 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: Matthew 28:1-10
All the readings have been tonight so rich and full of meaning that I thought that I would be very short this evening and give us all time to pause for a moment and to wonder at the marvel of the news of many, many centuries ago when Jesus, according to his promise, rose from the dead.
But more than that, he rose to stay, and he stayed, and he stays with us. And as we walk through the dusty roads, he is with us as we search for meaning and purpose. He is with us. He is our Lord. He is our Master but most of all, he is our companion along the way.
We can think of the women who came to the tomb to bind him up in ointment and give him a decent burial. And suddenly they found that he was alive and then they ran away. And lo and behold, they met him along the way.
And this is the way we meet Jesus. We meet him along the way, along the way of our daily lives. We meet him in times of trouble. We meet him in times of joy. We meet him in those quiet moments when we feel, as we have always felt, that when we are alone, we are never really alone for he is with us.
And so it is that this is the loveliest of all evenings, the loveliest of all nights. He came to be with us as a companion but with only one purpose — to teach us how to love, to teach us how to love as he loves, quietly, carefully, tenderly and with great forgiveness.
And so it is that our hearts are filled, are filled with gratitude, of course, but most of all, filled with the great pleasure of knowing that no matter what lies ahead, we will not face it alone, but face it along with him, along with him and his Father, filled with the Holy Spirit, sometimes plodding, sometimes running, sometimes falling, but always rising again as we go forward to our destiny.
What destiny? The destiny that Jesus himself has paid the price of his dying for, that Jesus himself gives to us as his gift on this lovely Easter night, to walk with him into eternity.