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Easter Vigil reflection: The Lord is Risen! Nyagasani Yazutse! Bwana Amefufuka!

Ernest Ngiyembere, SJ | Director of Jesuit Urumuri Centre-Kigali, Rwanda

“Christians are called to bear witness to that truth. Not only by means of logical reasoning but also by means of living the life of the liberated, of the victorious.”

We are living in a world of rapid communication. Information overwhelms human race. The term “Breaking News” is so often used. The possible outcome will be that this term will lose its meaning and became rather bizarre to use it, the life span of news is so short, – twenty four hours for the vigorous ones. Not so with the News we are celebrating tonight, though! It is two thousand years old. Times has passed, empires and their emperors have risen and gone. Writers have come and passed away, leaving behind the fruit of their work which eventually, those who survive the test of the centuries became classics, but the news we are celebrating is not a “classic” story, it is an everyday new story.

The Lord is Risen! Nyagasani Yazutse! Bwana Amefufuka!

The Liturgy of Easter Vigil helps us to admire the greatness of this news. Indeed, it never ‘classic’ story that after the darkness of the night, comes the light of the day! Every day is new. Day breaks everyday! We sing this in the first part of the liturgy when we celebrate the Light of the Easter.

The Liturgy of the Word stands a rereading that our Holy Mother Church does of the history of salvation, full of good news- and sometimes tragic as well, that were preparing for the best of all which is the one we are celebrating tonight. The Genesis, tells about the beginning of what we see, that at the start of it all there is good news of a God who put in order where there is chaos, gives life and sustain it of beings in general and of humans. God is concerned about us; he loves us and chooses to journey with us, beginning with Abraham. In our trial and tribulations he comes to visit us, and helps us cross them, we make under his leadership our exodus. We contemplate how he made wonders during the Exodus, “when Israel came out of Egypt, Jacob from a people of foreign tongue.” (Ps 114) This important event of Jewish history stood as a prelude to the story we are celebrating tonight: Our liberation from bonds of slavery, from bonds of hopelessness and despair, to the life of the liberated and victorious.

After the reading of Exodus, the liturgy leads us into the reading of prophets. An occasion to recall that indeed “time and again [The Lord] offered [humans] covenants and through the prophets taught them to look forward to salvation.” (Eucharistic Prayer IV) The culmination comes to the Gospel which announces the final victory of Christ. Who “gave himself up to death, and, rising from the dead, he destroyed death and restored life.” (Eucharistic Prayer IV)

Christians are called to bear witness to that truth. Not only by means of logical reasoning but also by means of living the life of the liberated, of the victorious. Easter vigil calls us to rejoice in the day that the Lord has made. We are no longer living for ourselves but for whom who died and rose again for us, and has sent us the Holy Spirit. Let joy be our identity. Let the hope for an assured victory be the leitmotiv our activities. Let the faith be the rays emanating from us and charity be our middle name.

Happy Easter!

Ernest Ngiyembere, SJ | Director of Jesuit Urumuri Centre-Kigali, Rwanda

Ernest Ngiyember

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