Homily — The Easter Vigil in the Holy Night 2018[i]

Most Reverend José H. Gomez

Archbishop of Los Angeles

Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels

March 31, 2018

My dear brothers and sistersrnin Christ, and especially my dear elect:

Every year on this holyrnnight, as I hear and reflect on the beautiful readings that cover the wholernhistory of humanity, from the creation of the world to the “new creation”, I justrnfind myself amazed.

And what always amazes me isrnthis: that I am a part of this story. And you are, too. That is awesome tornthink about.

That is what we can see inrnthe “light of Christ.”

Christ rises victorious. Andrnhis light scatters the darkness of our hearts and minds. The darkness of ignorancernand sin, the darkness of death.

His Resurrection reveals thatrncreation has a reason and history has a direction. Your life and my life, wernare all a part of the Creator’s plan — each one of us.

These readings that we hearrntonight tell the story of God’s loving kindness, his humble care for his people.

Throughout history, as wernheard this evening, God has been calling his people to follow him, likernAbraham. He has been leading his people, as he led Moses and the children ofrnIsrael out of Egypt.  

And then, we see that all ofrnhistory was pointing to Jesus Christ.

As we heard in the Gospelrnpassage, St. Mary Magdalene and the women go to the tomb — but the tomb isrnempty. And the angel tells them:

You seek Jesus of Nazareth, the crucified.
rnHe has been raised; he is not here.

So, the message for you andrnfor me is that Jesus is not a figure from history, he is not somebody who livedrnsometime in the past.

Jesus is alive! Jesusrnconquers death. He does not regain life. Hernis life. Jesus is nowhere to be foundrntoday because now he is everywhere. Hernhas been raised; he is not here.

And tonight, he is holdingrnout his hand to you and to me. He is calling us to live a new life — walking inrnhis footsteps and by his light; following on the path of life that he setsrnbefore us.

And the light that Christrnbrings is a new idea about life, a new conception of the human person.

The new idea is this: Ourrnlife matters to God. He created this world and he created it with a specialrnplace in it — for you and for me.

My brothers and sisters, eachrnone of us is somebody very special to God.

And that is not just arnbeautiful idea. God’s love for each one of us is one of the spiritual laws ofrnthe universe. It is one of the truths of history.

The world turns because ofrnGod’s love. And his love is what gives you life. So, we must build our lives onrnthis foundation — we can trust in his love, trust in his will, his plan for ourrnlives.

Jesus tells us that no matterrnwho we are, no matter where we come from or where we live — we are here becausernGod wants us to be here. That is something totally new.

St. Paul tells us tonightrnthat we are baptized into the death of Jesus so that we might rise with him torn“live in newness of life.”

So, my brothers and sisters,rnlet us take his hand, and let us walk in newnessrnof life. Let us open our hearts to the light of Christ and the love of God.

Let us walk with him inrnfriendship and holiness. Let us share his light and serve our brothers andrnsisters — so that everyone will know his love and the new life he offersrnus.

Again, this is what is sornamazing to me! The God who made heaven and earth — he comes into our world andrnour history. And he comes to be our friend.

And my dear elect: I prayrnthat you will always feel this amazement at the love of God. And I pray that yournwill always follow Jesus in this newness of life that he offers you tonight.

And let us all ask ourrnBlessed Mother Mary to go with us and help us. May she help us to keep thernlight of Christ always burning in our hearts, that we might always be filledrnwith the fire of his love.

[i]rnReadings: Gen. 1:1—2:2; Gen. 22:1—18; Exod. 14:15—15:1; Isa. 54:5—14; Isa.rn55:1—11; Bar. 3:9—15, 32c—4:4; Ezek. 36:16—28; Rom. 6:3—11; Luke 24:1Ù—12.