Holy Saturday - Easter Vigil, solemnity
"This is the work of the Lord, a marvel in our eyes"
A Greek homily of the 4th century
On the holy Easter, §1 et 58f ; PG 59, 743 ; SC 27 (inspired by a lost homily of saint Hippolytus of Rome)
"This is the work of the Lord, a marvel in our eyes" (Ps 117,23)
This is the hour when the blessed light of Christ appears; the pure rays of the Spirit arise and heaven opens up the treasures of divine glory. Night, vast and dim, is swallowed up; thick darkness is scattered; death's sad shade is drowned in shadow. Life breaks opens on all things and everything is filled with endless light. The Dawn of dawns rises above the earth and “he who was begotten before the daystar” (Ps 109,3), before the sun, immortal and immense, our great Christ, shines on all things more than the sun.
A day of light, vast and eternal, that nothing will extinguish, is commenced for us who believe: this is the mystical pasch, celebrated in prefiguration by the Law, fulfilled in truth by Christ, a magnificent pasch, wonder of God's might, work of his power, the true feast, the everlasting memorial: freedom from all suffering is born of the Passion, immortality is born from death, life is born from the tomb, healing is born from the wound, recovery is born from the fall, ascension is born from the descent to hell...
The women were the first to see the risen one. Just as a woman was the first to bring sin into the world so she was the first once again to bring the good news of life. And so they hear these sacred words: “Women, rejoice!” (Mt 28,9 Gk) that original sadness might be swallowed up in the joy of the resurrection...
Seeing so great a mystery – a man rising and now with God – the powers of heaven cried out joyfully to the angelic hosts: “O Princes, lift up your gates; grow higher, ancient doors, and the King of glory will enter!” They saw the wonder, human nature united to that of God, and called back in return: “Who is this King of glory?” The others answered: “The Lord of host, the mighty, the valiant, powerful in war, he is the King of glory” (Ps 23, 7f LXX).
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