Gn. 1:1-2:2 or 1:1, 26-31a Gn. 22:1-18 or 22:1-1, 9a, 10-13, 15-18 Ex. 14:15-15:1 Is. 54:5-14 Is. 55:1-11 Bar. 3:9-15, 32-4:4 Ez. 36:16-17a, 18-28 Rom. 6:3-11 Mt. 28:1-10
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There would be no Lent without Easter, and Easter would be less meaningful without Lent. This evening as we celebrate our Easter vigil, the readings call us to look back to the history of our salvation, how God has interacted with us through human existence and especially in the Paschal Mystery we are celebrating.
God’s early involvement in creation was more implicit. Yes, God is the creator of everything that exist. However, as Charles Darwin and scientists after him have pointed out, lives have evolved by natural selection. It is a great mystery to me how God had infused so much potential at the very beginning of creation that material and biological evolution unfolded so naturally that we can hardly see the Creator’s hand in the process. No less mysterious, however, is the revelation of the Creator’s face in the culmination of creation (Genesis 1:27).
The other readings from the Hebrew Bible at the Easter Vigil also express human understanding of God’s involvement in our history. In contrast to the earlier process of creation, our Creator has been personal and hands-on with us human. The ultimate manifestation of that love for us is when God’s only Son came to grant us salvation through his life, death, and resurrection. If we are reading this reflection on Holy Saturday, we have not yet physically died with Christ; but through our observance of Lent, we have spiritually died with him to some degree, so we will also rise with him (Romans 6:8). Let us celebrate!
Peter Pichet Saengthien, S.J., Ph.D. candidate: Integrated and Applied Sciences (Biology)