The “mission of the Resurrection” celebrated at Easter continues in the life of every Christian, Archbishop José H. Gomez told local faithful at this year’s Easter Vigil.

“From this empty tomb, we can walk now in Jesus’ footsteps, following the risen Lord, living with him in friendship,” said Archbishop Gomez in his homily at the vigil Mass at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels the evening of Saturday, April 8, 2023. “Our whole life becomes a beautiful adventure with him, a beautiful adventure that is destined for heaven and the love that never ends.”

The liturgy began at 8 p.m. on Holy Saturday with the traditional blessing of the fire at the Easter Fire Hearth on the Cathedral Plaza, before the hundreds in attendance processed inside the cathedral by candlelight. Later, several adults received the sacraments of baptism and Holy Eucharist for the first time after having undergone the process of Christian initiation known as the catechumenate for more than a year.

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Archbishop José H. Gomez joins in applause for a newly baptized Catholic at the 2023 Easter Vigil at the Cathedral of Our Lady Angels April 8. (Archdiocese of LA)

“Since the day you were born, God has been waiting for this night,” Archbishop Gomez told the catechumens in his homily. “You find yourself here, where he has always wanted you to be — at the Lord’s empty tomb, ready to be adopted into God’s family, his Catholic Church.”

Archbishop Gomez also reflected on the role of St. Mary Magdalene in the St. John the Evangelist’s gospel account of the Resurrection as the first person to Jesus risen from the dead – and “the first to proclaim him to the world.”

“Mary was a brave woman,” said the archbishop. “All of the apostles except St. John ran away when Jesus was arrested on Holy Thursday. She didn’t run. She was there, at the foot of the cross, with Mary and John, when Jesus breathed his last.”


Cathedral pastor Msgr. Antonio Cacciapuoti lights a young parishioner's candle at the start of the 2023 Easter Vigil on April 8. (Archdiocese of LA)

God, he said, “has led each of you tonight to this empty tomb because he has a mission for you, just as he had a mission for Mary Magdalene, two thousand years ago.”

As in every Easter Vigil, those present renewed their promises of baptism and received a blessing with the newly blessed water from the cathedral baptismal font as a reminder that, in and through Christ, they have died and been born again through the waters of baptism.

A total of 931 adults and 812 children of catechetical age received the sacraments of baptism and Holy Eucharist at this year’s Easter Vigil in parishes around the Archdiocese of Los Angeles the evening of Saturday, April 8.