Because He Lives
The Easter Season is almost at its end, but I, personally, am still thinking back to the Easter Vigil and the way the Lord spoke to me through that glorious Mass.
As I sat in the Leeds Cathedral, I was entirely experiencing the joy of being swept up by the liturgy of the “Vigil of Vigils” which Holy Mother Church gives us, and a question came to my mind: “How have I experienced, at least to some extent, the resurrection?”
I had just been thinking about how ancient that solemn liturgy is. Imagine how many countless souls would have, across the centuries, stood in a church holding a small flickering candle. How many would have joined in with the choir as they chanted Our Risen Lord’s words of greeting, so sweet that each syllable is held out, as if the Church is attempting to hold on to each passing sound to savor the joyful message all the longer. I was now one with all the other faithful in the Cathedral, totally united with each of those generations before – all gathered because Our Savior had risen.
Seemingly interrupting this train of thought, the question of how I had experienced the resurrection came to mind. As only the Holy Spirit can do, my “distant” ponderings became personal, desiring for it to be applied to my own life. Immediately, major moments came to mind: receiving a total healing of the deformity in my legs (He must be alive to do that!), the grace of encountering Him in high school, the gift of being called to this vocation… and then, to my surprise, quite ordinary and recent moments began to list off in my head. I had just had a conversation with one of the teenagers in our youth group a few days before. He spoke in awe of the way the Lord had broken into his life this past year. Again, new life, I thought. Then the two days prior crossed my mind. The sheer joy of being reunited with our sisters from Ireland and Rome could only be because of the beautiful community we share. All of this was only possible because Christ lives. All of these were indeed encounters, experiences of the resurrection.
As this was all unrolling in my mind, the liturgy was of course proceeding onward. By this point, the baptismal rite was about to begin. Within fifteen minutes I found myself looking in awe at the nine newly baptized young adults returning to their pew. There was something about them which visually spoke of newness – something more than the white garment which was placed around their shoulders. You could tell they had just received new life. There was a beautiful, visible joy in them. You knew that something had drastically changed from the time when they had left their pew to process to the baptismal font until now. This moved me to tears as I thought: There is the resurrection. I just witnessed it.
My train of thought was no longer on things which had happened in the past. I was encountering the resurrection right at that moment. I had just witnessed nine young adults become “new creations”. The Lord had made them new. He was now alive in them. And within just a few minutes after that, He was going to be fully alive and present in the Most Holy Eucharist on the altar. Where else would I need to look to find Him? “Behold, I am with you always.”
Sr. Rosa, CFR