What is the greatest event in your life? What news would you hear tonight and it eclipses all the worries and fears in your life? Is it news of a job, your dream job? How about news that a vaccine, and in fact, a cure for the coronavirus has been discovered and you don’t have to worry about social distancing, lost jobs and economic crunch, and travel cancelations? Is it rather news that yours is the winning number for the lottery? What is it?
As you are thinking that over, I indeed have a big good news for you which calls for sounding the trumpet in great jubilation. My news will change your life forever and bring about the purest joy that your heart can ever imagine. Yes, my news eclipses worries and is greater than winning a billion dollar lottery or finding a cure for the coronavirus. My news is that the conqueror of sin and death has risen. It is news about the victory of the human race and destiny – the victory of life over death, of hope over despair, of humanity redeemed in Christ, of the triumph of the cross over the curse of sin and death.
We are ushered into this Easter Vigil to be part of the rite of victory, granting us the right as victors, and to sing the victory song, the song of exultation known as the Easter Proclamation; what is called in Latin Exultet (Rejoice). Five times the Exultet repeats: “This is the night.” The first earthly night recorded in the Ist chapter of Genesis, in that creation narrative we heard, was a night when darkness covered the abyss, and God said, “Let there be light.” And there was light. The second night was the night of Exodus, when God led Israel out of Egypt by the light of His presence. These two nights prefigure and foreshadow the night about which we are singing. This third night: tonight is the night when the pillar of fire would destroy another darkness – the darkness of sin, defilement, slavery, death and the grave. The first two nights were material in nature; this third night is spiritual. And while light could cure earthly darkness, it requires something more than mere light, more than electricity to cure spiritual darkness. Yes, this is the night when Christ, the Morning Star, conqueror of the night of nights sheds His peaceful light on Christians everywhere.
The resurrection of Christ is not only unsurpassable and inexpressible, it ratifies and consummates the wedding of earth and heaven. Christ came to restore, not just the earthly paradise lost by Adam, but to enthrone captive Adam and us in heaven. Rejoice and Be Glad for He has saved us! Happy Easter to all of you!