Fr. Martin gave an introduction to the paschal Vigil which began in the crypt of the monastery Chapel and a brief introduction to each of the 7 readings with an equally short homily on the Gospel. The responses of the monks and congregation, aided at times by flute and harp made for a reverent and joyful celebration. What follows is an edited version of the Gospel homily.
We have heard the account of God’s activity on our behalf from the beginning of time to the death of the Incarnate One. We believe we participate in Christ’s resurrection and receive the gift of his Spirit. So when St. Matthew ends his gospel with the words of Jesus: “I will be with you always.” What does that mean to you? Does it make you feel confident that you will feel great always and that now at last things will go well for you? Sirach, one of the Wisdom authors in the Old Testament writes: “When you come to serve the Lord, be prepared for trials.” And he means just exactly what he says. What we have heard this Paschal Night is about relationship with God and one another – and even all of creation. It is not about acquiring security. Eventually, and after we have died, things may go well for us. Provided, of course, that we wanted the relationship and lived more or less accordingly. We are to believe in our relationship with the Lord and trust God as Abraham did in the Isaac account. We are to have confidence in our Faith and our Hope that motivate that relationship. Our Hope is even of an ever deepening relationship. That is what love is and love is what we are constantly receiving and into which we are continually invited. That is, if we truly listen to God’s Word in its various manifestations with the ear of our hearts and allow it to resonate in all our deeds.
Our relationship with God and one another and the universe might even come
to resemble that of St. Paul and Dante. The one experienced a love
that surpasses knowledge and the other a vision of that which moves the sun
and all the stars. Today, St. Matthew would have us take our initial
cue from the women who came to the tomb early Easter morning and took off
excitedly with a wee bit of fear and an over abundance of JOY!
Our friend and neighbor, Helen Siegl, designs beautiful Easter eggs for each monk. We let you appreciate her talents with this picture.
The lambing season should begin around April 15th. and last three weeks.
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