Introductory Prayer: Jesus, you are my faithful friend in life and in death. May I discover in your rising my guarantee and hope of everlasting life. After such a show of love you deserve all my faith, all my hope and all my love. I offer these to you humbly and gratefully. You alone are the Lord of my life. You are the true purpose of my life. I long to see your loving face, Lord, but I must wait in hope to see you in eternity.
Petition: Lord, renew me by your Resurrection.
1. The Dawn of the New Creation: Mary Magdalene and the other Mary head to the tomb on the “first day” of the week, as day is dawning. But today holds a new beginning. On the original “first day” God had said, “Let there be light.” Now a new light is dawning. Easter is the dawn of a New Creation. Nature is restored and elevated by the grace of Christ’s Resurrection. There is an earthquake – not because nature convulses as it did on Good Friday – but because an angel has descended from heaven. No lightning strikes from the sky, yet the angel’s appearance is like lightning. His clothing is white as snow, yet no blizzard buries the disciples in desperation. Redemption from sin is won: “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be like snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool” (Isaiah 1:18). Let my soul bathe in this Easter light; may I become dazzling white such as no fuller on earth can bleach me.
2. Unafraid: The cause for fear has vanished: “I know that you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for he has been raised, as he said.” The worst had been expected after the devastation of Good Friday; instead, Easter unimaginably fulfills the greatest hope. The place where Christ had lain is now empty. Rather, the soldiers who had guarded the tomb are the ones who lie like dead men on the ground. O Death, where is your sting? Death has proven defenseless against the Resurrection. Fearless joy bids me to run tell the disciples.
3. Greetings! Jesus does not delay long in encountering the souls he has redeemed. He stops the two women who are running along their way: “Greetings!” Only he has the words of everlasting life. He is the Resurrection. He is to be worshipped as the Source of Life itself. His light dispels every last shadow of fear. He confirms his disciples in the faith. This is the Good News: All of his brothers will witness the Risen Lord. And we shall be his witnesses to the ends of the earth!
Conversation with Christ: Lord Jesus, I desire to encounter you by Easter light. Wash my soul white as snow. Dispel all darkness from my heart. Flood me with your joy. Allow me to be your witness to the ends of the earth.
Resolution: After the Easter Vigil and before Easter Sunday is over, I will greet someone by saying joyfully, “The Lord is Risen!”