So it was written that the Messiah should suffer and be rejected, and rise again on the third day.
This day, my dear Friends, is our day of triumph. It is our day of victory. As we continue our struggle in this valley of tears, we are given in the Resurrection of Our Lord the pledge of our own resurrection and glorification. The forces of evil and death may way heavy upon us. We know that one day our bodies will return to dust. And yet, we know also that those same bodies will rise again in glory like unto the Son of God who at this very moment is in our midst full of grace and truth.
On this day and throughout paschal tide, may we all be drawn more and more into contemplation of our glorified Saviour. May He pay each of us a visit to console us as a friend, a friend worn out by the traumatic events of the past few days, exhausted by the burdens we have to bear. May He seek us out and draw us ever more into the mystery of His Sacred Heart. That Sacred Heart is depicted on our beautiful paschal candle, but you can’t see it for there is a wound, now glorified and symbolised by the grain of incense. May He draw each one of us into that sanctuary of His divinity and may He give each one of us to be drawn into the peace, the joy, the eternal bliss of that gaze, that smile, that everlasting laughter of One who knows that it is over, there is no more struggle, there is no more suffering, there is no more death, tears are all wiped away from our eyes and we can jump with exhilarating joy because the One we love is victorious and He wants to share that victory with us.
On this day, all is new. We have a new paschal fire, new holy water, fresh linens and flowers. All is new, because we have passed from death to life, from sin to grace, from despair to unshakeable joy. Let there be no room today for sadness, for one of the great graces of Easter is precisely that the victory comes through the cross, and so those very pains that might still weigh upon us, we know they will become glorious wounds, like those on the paschal candle.
The paschal candle also depicts us, even though you can’t see it from your side. The monks of Our Lady of Cana are there in their white habits, looking like the army of neophytes rising up from the baptismal fonts in their bright robes. And the jars of wine are there too, those jars symbolising both our love for Christ in pouring out our own lives and our own blood for Him and the delightful and inebriating sweetness of the love He bears us and that we profess to bear towards Him.
My wish for each of you on this holy feast is that – if I may paraphrase that beautiful prayer of St John Henry Newman – your eyes may meet those of the Risen Saviour, that you may be filled with His fragrance, with His Spirit, that He may shine in and through you, that your lives may be only a radiance of His, that He may be so in you that every soul you come in contact with may feel His presence in your soul, that they may look up and see no longer you, but only Jesus, the Risen and Glorious Jesus who holds us all in the palm of His hand, and from whom no one may ever snatch us away! May you become light for others, may He shine on others through you, giving you to preach even without preaching, not just by words but by your example, an example that reveals a soul that has met Jesus, that knows Him, that loves Him, that influences others by means of a power that reveals the evident fullness of the love you heart bears to His.
Glory be to Jesus Christ, risen and victorious. Glory to Him in the highest Heavens, glory to Him on earth in the Most Blessed Sacrament of the Altar. Glory to Him in His Church, through which the power of His victory inundates the world forever and ever. Amen.