Easter Vigil

In many parishes throughout the world, Easter Sunday is greeted with two emotions that many running in Monday’s Boston Marathon will also experience:  joy…and exhaustion!  From Palm Sunday to Easter Monday our senses (especially our hearing) are almost overwhelmed with powerful and often long scripture readings; rituals that we do at no other time of the year; the singing of the Exultet and the return of “the ‘A’ word” (Alleluia!); and perhaps seeing some people we haven’t seen in a while.

So tonight I invite you to just sit with me for a few moments and prayerfully contemplate a few simple messages from our readings:

Genesis 1:1-2:2—God made our world and made us very good!

Exodus 14:15-15:1—Even when our backs are up against it, God is with us.  So don’t be afraid.  Have courage!

Isaiah 55:1-11—God’s word accomplishes its purpose.  It will be fulfilled.

Romans 6:3-11—Just as we died and were buried with Christ in baptism, so will we also be raised to life with him.

Matthew 28:1-10—Jesus has risen!  So don’t be afraid.  (Have you heard that before?) Go out and share the good news!

Jane Bradley-Pettit, the heir to the Allen-Bradley fortune, was one of the greatest philanthropists in the history of Milwaukee.  Over the course of her life she gave over $250 million to various civic projects and charities, and her name is on numerous buildings throughout the area, including the BMO Bradley Center, the Pettit National Ice Center, and Bradley Tech High School. 

It is said that whenever the unassuming Mrs. Pettit was honored or recognized for a gift, she always gave the same speech.  The short version was:  “Thank you.”  The long version was:  “Thank you very much.”

Tonight, in gratitude for the gift of life that we have in Christ we use an extended version of that speech:  Thank you, Lord.  Thank you very much! +