On this Holy Saturday, thinking of our relationship with the Lord and one another
Reflections on the readings for Holy Saturday at the Easter Vigil in the Holy Night of Easter (April 3, 2021): GN 1:1 – 2:2; PS 104:1-2,5-6,10,12,13-14,24,35; GN 22:1-18; PS 16:5,8,9-10,11; EX 14:15 – 15:1; EX 15:1-2,3-4,5-6,17-18; IS 54:5-14; PS 30:2,4,5-6,11-12,13; IS 55:1-11; IS 12:2-3,4,5-6; BAR 3:9-15,32 – 4:4; PS 19:8,9,10,11; EZ 36:16-17,18-28; PS 42:3,5; 43:3,4; ROM 6:3-11; PS 118:1-2,1-2,16-17,22-23; MARK 16:1-7
MISSIO offers “Mission In Scripture” to nurture a missionary heart, providing reflections on the missionary themes in the readings of Sundays, Feast Days and Holy Days.
"If, then, we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him." (Romans 6:8).
Just as the daytime of Holy Saturday is a period of quiet and contemplation, of loss and longing, the great ceremony of the Easter Vigil in the evening is a time of immense joy. Not only do we again celebrate the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, we also have traditional rites that emphasize the exceptional nature of this experience. We first have the Service of Light with both a fire and the blessing of the paschal candle followed by the Liturgy of the Word. And the last of the many readings from both the Old and New Testaments before we hear the Gospel comes from St. Paul’s letter to the Romans. This is fitting, of course, because it speaks of death and Resurrection, both Christ’s and our own. These verses also remind us of the necessity of baptism in being a follower of Jesus. “Are you unaware that we who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into death?… If we have grown into union with Him through a death like His, we shall also be united with Him in Resurrection.… If then we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him” (Romans 6:3, 5, 8).
After the Scripture readings, the Baptismal Liturgy welcomes new Catholics in churches around the world. It is a great privilege to greet the adults and young people who join the Body of Christ. And it is a wonderful reminder that our relationship with our Lord in not simply one-on-one. As members of the Church of our Savior, we share a particular bond with Jesus – and with one another. Even as we reach out in love and mercy to all God’s people, let us serve Jesus by assisting fellow Christians in following Him.
Suggested missionary action: Let us celebrate the glory of Easter by resolving to reveal the light of the Risen Christ. Let us share the gift of faith, hope, and love with those in need materially and spiritually – both those near us and, through the Church’s missions, around the world.
Give with heart this Easter. Put resources in the hands of missionaries in the Pope’s missions who are serving the poor and battling COVID-19.