Saturday, April 04, 2015
April 4, 2015 – HOLY SATURDAY
Solemnity, Cycle B
Gn 1:1 - 2: 2 / Gn 22:1 –18 / Ex 14:15 - 15:1 / Rom 6:3 – 11 / Mk 16:1 - 7
Vigil Reading: Genesis 1:1 - 2:2
In the beginning, when God began to create the heavens and the earth, the earth had no form and was void; darkness was over the deep and the Spirit of God hovered over the waters. God said, "Let there be light"; and there was light. God saw that the light was good and he separated the light from the darkness. God called the light 'Day' and the darkness 'Night'. There was evening and there was morning: the first day. God said, "Let there be a firm ceiling between the waters and let it separate waters from waters." So God made the ceiling and separated the waters below it from the waters above it. And so it was. God called the firm ceiling 'Sky'. There was evening and there was morning: the second day. God said, "Let the waters below the sky be gathered together in one place and let dry land appear." And so it was. God called the dry land 'Earth', and the waters gathered together he called 'Seas'. God saw that it was good. God said, "Let the earth produce vegetation, seed-bearing plants, fruittrees bearing fruit with seed, each according to its kind, upon the earth." And so it was. The earth produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kind and trees producing fruit which has seed, according to their kind. God saw that it was good. There was evening and there was morning: the third day. God said, "Let there be lights in the ceiling of the sky to separate day from night and to serve as signs for the seasons, days and years; and let these lights in the sky shine above the earth." And so it was. God therefore made two great lights, the greater light to govern the day and the smaller light to govern the night; and God made the stars as well. God placed them in the ceiling of the sky to give light on the earth and to separate the light from the darkness. God saw that it was good. There was evening and there was morning: the fourth day. God said, "Let the water teem with an abundance of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth under the ceiling of the sky."
God created the great monsters of the sea and all living animals, those that teem in the waters, according to their kind, and every winged bird, according to its kind. God saw that it was good. God blessed them saying, "Be fruitful and increase in number, fill the waters of the sea, and let the birds increase on the earth." There was evening and there was morning: the fifth day. God said, "Let the earth produce living animals according to their kind: cattle, creatures that move along the ground, wild animals according to their kind." So it was. God created the wild animals according to their kind, and everything that creeps along the ground according to its kind. God saw that it was good. God said, "Let us make man in our image, to our likeness. Let them rule over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, over the cattle, over the wild animals, and over all creeping things that crawl along the ground." So God created man in his image; in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. God blessed them and said to them, "Be fruitful and increase in number, fill the earth and subdue it, rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the sky, over every living creature that moves on the ground." God said, "I have given you every seed-bearing plant which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree that bears fruit with seed. It will be for your food. To every wild animal, to every bird of the sky, to everything that creeps along the ground, to everything that has the breath of life, I give every green plant for food." So it was. God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. There was evening and there was morning: the sixth day. That was the way the sky and earth were created and all their vast array. By the seventh day the work God had done was completed, and he rested on the seventh day from all the work he had done.
Vigil Reading: Genesis 22:1-18
Some time later God tested Abraham and said to him, "Abraham!" And he answered, "Here I am." Then God said, "Take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains I shall point out to you." Abraham rose early next morning and saddled his donkey and took with him two of his young men and his son Isaac. He chopped wood for the burnt offering and set out for the place to which God had directed him. On the third day Abraham looked up and saw the place in the distance, and he said to the young men, "Stay here with the donkey. The boy and I will go over there to worship and then we will come back to you." Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac his son. He carried in his hand the fire and the knife. As the two of them went on together, Isaac spoke to Abraham, his father, "Father!" And Abraham replied, "Yes, my son?" Isaac said, "The fire and the wood are here, but where is the lamb for the sacrifice?" Abraham replied, "God himself will provide the lamb for the sacrifice." They went on, the two of them together, until they came to the place to which God had directed them. When Abraham had built the altar and set the wood on it, he bound his son Isaac and laid him on the wood placed on the altar. He then stretched out his hand to seize the knife and slay his son. But the Angel of Yahweh called to him from heaven, "Abraham! Abraham!" And he said, "Here I am." "Do not lay your hand on the boy; do not harm him, for now I know that you fear God, and you have not held back from me your only son." Abraham looked around and saw behind him a ram caught by its horns in a bush. He offered it as a burnt offering in place of his son. Abraham named the place 'The Lord will provide.' And the saying has lasted to this day. And the Angel of Yahweh called from heaven a second time, "By myself I have sworn, it is Yahweh who speaks, because you have done this and not held back your son, your only son, I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the lands of their enemies. All the nations of the earth will be blessed through your descendants because you have obeyed me."
Vigil Reading: Exodus 14:15 -15:1
Yahweh said to Moses, "Why do you cry to me? Tell the people of Israel to go forward. You will raise your staff and stretch your hand over the sea and divide it to let the Israelites go dryfoot through the sea. I will so harden the minds of the Egyptians that they will follow you. And I will have glory at the expense of Pharaoh, his army, his chariots and horsemen. The Egyptians will know that I am Yahweh when I gain glory for myself at the cost of Pharaoh and his army!" The Angel of God who had gone ahead of the Israelites now placed himself behind them. The pillar of cloud changed its position from the front to the rear, between the camps of the Israelites and the Egyptians. For one army the cloud provided light, for the other darkness so that throughout the night the armies drew no closer to each other. Moses stretched his hand over the sea and Yahweh made a strong east wind blow allnight and dry up the sea and the sons of Israel went on dry ground through the middle of the sea, with the waters forming a wall to their right and to their left. The Egyptians followed them and all Pharaoh's horses, his chariots and horsemen moved forward in the middle of the sea. It happened that in the morning watch, Yahweh in the pillar of cloud and fire, looked towards the Egyptian camp and threw it into confusion. He so clogged their chariot wheels that they could hardly move. Then the Egyptians said, "Let us flee from the Israelites for Yahweh is fighting for them against Egypt." Then Yahweh said to Moses, "Stretch your hand over the sea and let the waters come back over the Egyptians, over their chariots and horsemen." Moses stretched out his hand over the sea. At daybreak the sea returned to its place. As the Egyptians tried to flee, Yahweh swept them into the sea. The waters flowed back and engulfed the chariots and horsemen of the whole army of Pharaoh that had followed Israel into the sea. Not one of them escaped. As for the Israelites they went forward on dry ground in the middle of the sea, the waters forming a wall on their right and their left. On that day Yahweh delivered Israel from the power of the Egyptians and Israel saw the Egyptians lying dead on the seashore. They understood what wonders Yahweh had done for them against Egypt, and the people feared Yahweh. They believed in Yahweh and in Moses, his servant. Then Moses and the people sang this song to Yahweh: I will sing to Yahweh, the glorious one, horse and rider he has thrown into the sea.
First Reading: Rom 6:3-11
Don't you know that in baptism which unites us to Christ we are all baptized and plunged into his death? By this baptism in his death, we were buried with Christ and, as Christ was raised from among the dead by the Glory of the Father, so we begin walking in a new life. If we have been joined to him by dying a death like his so we shall be by a resurrection like his. We know that our old self was crucified with Christ, so as to destroy what of us was sin, so that we may no longer serve sin — if we are dead, we are no longer in debt to sin. But if we have died with Christ, we believe we will also live with him. We know that Christ, once risen from the dead, will not die again and death has no more dominion over him. For by dying, he is dead to sin once and for all, and now the life that he lives is life with God. So you, too, must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.
Gospel: Mk 16:1-7
When the Sabbath was over, Mary of Magdala, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go and anoint the body. And very early in the morning on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they came to the tomb.
They were saying to one another, "Who will roll back the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?" But as they looked up, they noticed that the stone had already been rolled away. It was a very big stone.
As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man in a white robe seated on the right, and they were amazed. But he said to them, "Don't be alarmed; you are looking for Jesus of Nazareth who was crucified; he has been raised and is not here. This is, however, the place where they laid him. Now go and tell his disciples and Peter: Jesus is going ahead of you to Galilee; you will see him there just as he told you."
The celebration of the holiest of holydays begins with the very rich liturgy of the Easter Vigil. The forty days of the Lenten observance led us to celebrate the Good Friday event where the cross of Christ was the focus of our contemplation and prayer. But the cross and the Good Friday event are without meaning if there is no Easter to follow. Thus, St. Paul in his Letter to the Corinthians professes that, if there is no resurrection of Christ, our very faith is empty and all our preaching vain! (1 Cor 15: 14)
With our celebration of the Easter Vigil we celebrate all that our faith entails. The celebration begins with a "liturgy of light:" in darkness a "new" fire is blessed symbolizing the light of Christ which dispels all darkness of evil. The light that is Christ is "enthroned" in the Easter candle while the congregation hold their lighted candles and listen to the glorious Easter Exsultet, the traditional song which proclaims the saving action of God's love that overcomes human selfishness: "O truly necessary sin of Adam, destroyed completely by the Death of Christ! O happy fault that earned so great, so glorious a Redeemer. O truly blessed night, worthy alone to know the time and hour when Christ rose from the underworld. This is the night of which it is written: The night shall be as bright as day, dazzling is the night for me, and full of gladness." In response to all that God's saving love is for us, we renew the promises made in baptism, the first sacrament of our faith.
The words we repeat in the renewal of our baptismal promises are words of faith that are constantly nourished by the word of God in the Scriptures. Thus, on this holy night of nights the wonderful history of our salvation is read from selected passages in the bible. It is a history which begins with the creation of the world. The story continues and we recall the centuries of human failures of disobedience and disrespect towards God's graciousness. But even as sin abounds, the loving mercy of God abounds all the more. The readings from Paul's Letter to the Romans and of Mark's account of the wonderment of Christ's loving disciples at the announcement of the Lord's resurrection bring the whole history of salvation to its conclusion for us today.
Contemplating the readings of the Easter Vigil we are invited to celebrate today's Eucharist in a very special way. We are invited to join Mary Magdalene and the other disciples with deep wonder at all that Lord had done for us, and indeed for all humanity. The whole history of salvation is a history of God's love for us despite the constant failures of men and women to respond with grateful love,
In a very true sense, we can say that the Easter Vigil resembles an annual spiritual retreat. Contemplating the readings of the word of God gives us matter for our reflection; the renewal of our baptismal promises constitutes our response, a renewal of our commitment to be faithful followers of Christ. And finally at the Eucharistic table we receive the Risen Lord in the bread and wine that continue to nourish and strengthen us as we live our faith in the Galilees of our lives. Salvation history continues in all of us. Alleluia.
WE PRAY FOR MTQ DAILY PRAYER DIARY INTENTIONS:
JOSEFINA O. GAGUI
MARICRIS G. FIGUEROA
IN MEMORIAM (+)
NG BANG SIN
Finally, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our prayers and for those who need our prayers the most.
Have a good day!
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