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Thought of the day
Saturday, April 15, 2017

Holy Saturday (Vigil Mass)

Saint Hesychius (?-c.451), monk, priest 1st Paschal homily, 1.5-6 (SC 187, p.63) "This is the night when Jesus Christ broke the chains of death and rose triumphant from the grave" (Exultet)

Holy Saturday (Vigil Mass)

Commentary of the day 

Saint Hesychius (?-c.451), monk, priest 1st Paschal homily, 1.5-6 (SC 187, p.63)

"This is the night when Jesus Christ broke the chains of death and rose triumphant from the grave" (Exultet)

The heavens shine when lit up by the chorus of the stars and the world shines even more when the morning star arises. But this night is now shining less from the brilliance of the heavenly bodies than from its joy at the victory of our God and Savior. As he says: “Take courage, I myself have conquered the world” (Jn 16:33). Following this triumph over the invisible enemy on God’s part we shall most certainly carry the victory against the demons. So let us stay near the cross of our salvation that we may gather the first fruits of Jesus’ gifts. Let us celebrate this holy night with sacred torches; let us raise a divine music, a celestial hymn. The “Sun of Justice” (Mal 3:20), our Lord Jesus Christ, has illumined this day for all the world; he has risen by means of the cross; he has saved believers… 

Our assembly, my brethren, is a victory feast, the triumph of the King of the universe, the son of God. Today the devil has been undone by the Crucified and all humankind is filled with joy because of the Risen one… This day cries out: “I have seen the King of heaven today, girded with light, rising above the lightening and all that shines, above the sun and waters, above the clouds”… To begin with he was concealed in a woman’s breast, then in the heart of the earth: first sanctifying the human breed, then giving life to the dead through his resurrection, for “behold how suffering, how the pain and labor of childbirth, have fled away” (cf. Is 35:10)… 

Paradise is opened today through the Risen one, Adam is restored to life, Eve is comforted, the call is heard, the Kingdom made ready, man is saved, Christ is adored. He has trampled death beneath his feet, taking that tyrant prisoner and stripping the dwelling places of the dead. He rises up to the skies, victorious as a king, glorious as a leader…, and he says to his Father: “Behold, O God, I and the children you have given me” (Heb 2:13). Glory to him, both now and for ever!


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