Holy Saturday - Easter Vigil, solemnity
The night that sets us free from the sleep of death
Brethren, let us keep watch, for Christ remained in the tomb until this night. It was on this night that the resurrection of his flesh took place. On the cross it was the butt of mockery; today, heaven and earth give it worship. This night already forms part of our Sunday. It was very necessary that Christ should rise in the night because his resurrection has enlightened our darkness… Just as our faith, strengthened by Christ’s resurrection, dispels all sleep, so this night, lightened by our vigils, is filled with brightness. With the Church throughout the earth it causes us to hope we shall never be surprised in the night (Mk 13:33).
Amongst so many peoples whom this feast - kept so solemnly everywhere - gathers together in the name of Christ, the sun has gone down. Yet day has not disappeared; the lights of heaven have taken over from the lights of earth… He who has given us the glory of his name (Ps 28:2) has also illumined this night. He to whom we say “You lighten my darkness” (Ps 18:28) sheds his brightness in our hearts. Just as our dazzled eyes behold these shining torches so our enlightened spirits enable us to see how luminous is this night, this holy night in which our Lord initiated in his own flesh the life that knows neither sleep nor death!