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We were made in the image and likeness of God

Archbishop Thomas Wenski's homily at 2017 Easter Vigil Mass

Archbishop Thomas Wenski's homily at 2017 Easter Vigil Mass at St. Mary Cathedral. Saturday, April 15, 2017.   

The first reading of tonight’s vigil service from the Book of Genesis recalls the mystery of creation, the mystery of man: male and female, he created them – the only creatures that God made for himself. We were created in the image and likeness of this God who is love. Understanding that we are made in the image and likeness of God can help us to understand why God put into the humanity of man and woman the vocation – and thus the capacity and the responsibility – of love and communion.

This original plan of God was frustrated by man’s original sin – his turning away from God. Without God, man’s heart created for God remained restless and could not attain by its own power the love and communion it yearned for. But God, in his Divine Mercy, did not give up on his creation. The others Scriptures readings of tonight’s vigil offered us a brief summary of Salvation History – the history of God’s search for his lost creature in order to offer us again renewed friendship with him, to give us the means to fulfill our vocation – the vocation of human existence – for love and communion.

La primera lectura de Génesis recuerda el misterio de creación, el misterio de hombre: hombre y mujer, él los creó – las únicas criaturas que Dios hizo para si mismo. Fuimos creados en la imagen y la semejanza de este Dios que es el amor. El que fuimos creados a la imagen y la semejanza de Dios puede ayudarnos a entender por qué Dios puso en la humanidad de hombre y mujer la vocación – y así la capacidad y la responsabilidad – de amor y comunión.

Pandan sezòn Karèm nan, nou sot esye konprann pi byen kilès Bondye ye pou nou. Nou wè jouk ki pwen li renmen n: jouk Jezi bay tèt li pou nou. Jodi a menm, Bondye Papa a wete Jezi anba pouvwa lanmò, e poutèt Jezi li kase tout chenn esklavay sou tè a, nan lanmò Jezi yo plonje n, pou n antere tout peche n yo, pou n debarase ak tout vye lide n yo, pou n rache tout move santima nan kè n. Konsa, sa Adan te gate, Jezi vin remete an fòm. Nan li, gras a batèm nou, nou tornen frè ak sè l yo.

In the fullness of time, he sent his Only Son – who though remaining truly God became truly one of us – in all things but sin. In Christ, creation is set aright; it is placed back on its original course. What the old Adam lost for himself and his descendants, the New Adam, Jesus Christ, has won anew for those who would become his brothers and sisters in Baptism.Adam and Eve turned us away from God – and thus from the possibility of being fully what we were created to be; in Jesus, we turn back to God, and through the power of his death and resurrection, he redeems all that is truly human. By the gift of his Spirit, Christ makes it possible for us to live no longer for ourselves but for him.

Este plan original de Dios se frustró por el pecado original del hombre – que le apartó de Dios. Sin Dios, el corazón del hombre creado para Dios permaneció agitado y no podía alcanzar por su propio poder el amor y la comunión que tanto anhela. Pero Dios, por su Divina Misericordia, no se dejó por vencido. Los demás las lecturas de Escrituras de la vigilia nos ofrecieron un breve resumen de la Historia de Salvación – como Dios salio a buscarnos a fin de ofrecernos la amistad con él, para darnos los medios de realizar nuestra vocación – la vocación de la existencia humana – para amor y comunión.

En la plenitud de tiempo, él envió a su Único Hijo – a quién permaneciendo realmente Dios se hizo realmente uno de nosotros – en todas las cosas, sino el pecado. Lo que viejo Adán perdió para él y sus descendientes, el Nuevo Adán, Jesucristo, ha ganado de nuevo para aquellos que se harían sus hermanos y hermanas en el Bautismo.

Our Lenten Observance has been a re-enactment in our lives of the human story recounted in Salvation History – the story of mankind’s journey back home to God, the story of our call to conversion of mind and heart by a loving and merciful God, a God who continues to call us to communion with himself. Tonight that journey culminates – for our Catechumens – in Baptism, through which they become a new creation in Christ; and, for us who have been baptized, that journey culminates tonight in the Renewal of our Baptismal Promises.

Baptism recalls our own Passover foreshadowed in the Exodus of the Hebrews: we are delivered from the slavery of sin for the new life of grace. The Light, the new Light of the Paschal Candle symbolizes the Light of Christ which the darkness of sin and death could not overcome. On this beautiful night, his light brightens our way and strengthens our hope. Light dispels darkness, life overcomes death, and love conquers sin.

Aswè gen kèk moun ki pral batize; men, nou menm ki batize déjà, nou gen pou n renouvle angajman nou te pran jou nou te batize a: pou nou pa viv pou tèt nou ankò, men pou nou viv pou Bondye ak pou frè ak sè nou yo. Nou te batize pou nou ka kominye – sa vle di, nou fè youn ak Bondye nan manje nou manje Kò ak San Kris la. Konsa, fè Pak nou, vle di antre pi fon nan mèvèy sa pou nou viv li ak plis konsyans jiska nou rive viv li ansanm ak Kris la nan peyi rwa li ki nan syèl la.

We are baptized so that we can receive Holy Communion. For this reason, the Sacrament of Christ’s Body and Blood is considered the final Sacrament of Christian Initiation, for in our communion in Christ we become one with God and one with all the members of his Mystical Body, the Church. It is the means through which God helps his creation renewed in grace to attain its vocation for love and communion. It is the “daily bread” for which Christ taught us to pray, the “daily bread”, the Viaticum, that sustains us on life’s journey to the Father’s house.

Por su muerte y resurrección, Jesús redime todo lo que es realmente humano. Por el don de su Espíritu, Cristo hace posible que vivamos ya no para nosotros, sino para él.

Como nuestra jornada durante la cuaresma nos recordaba, Dios sigue llamándonos a la comunión con él. Esta noche, nuestros Catecúmenos van a ser bautizados: llegarán a ser una nueva creación en Cristo; y nosotros que ya hemos sido bautizados, después de una Cuaresma de oración y penitencia, renovaremos nuestras Promesas Bautismales.

Esta nueva vida que celebramos esta noche es el regalo precioso del Señor Resucitado a cada uno de nosotros. Esta nueva vida es a la vez un don de Dios y una tarea para nosotros. En su Resurrección, Cristo renueva todo lo que es realmente humano en nuestras vidas. Por el regalo de su Espíritu, él hace posible que vivamos ya no para nosotros, sino para él.

Nan fèt Pak, Jezi fè tout bagay vin nouvo – li ban nou yon lavi tou nèf. Lavi sa a se yon bèl kado li ye pou nou; men an menm tan se yon rekonsabilite pou nou – pou nou pa viv nan fenwa men nan limyè a.

This new life that we celebrate tonight is the precious gift of the Risen Lord to each one of us. May this life – received as a gift but also entrusted to us as a task – grow within each one of us so as to produce in our lives its fruits of love, joy and peace, the fruits of Eternal Life. In his Resurrection, Christ renews all that is truly human in our lives. By the gift of his Spirit, he makes it possible for us to live no longer for ourselves but for him. Alleluia.

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