More in this section MAIN MENU

Let us be confident witnesses of Jesus' Resurrection

Archbishop Wenski's homily at the 2023 Easter Vigil

Archbishop Thomas Wenski preached this homily during the Easter Vigil, celebrated April 8, 2023, at St. Mary Cathedral.

The Paschal candle symbolizes the light that is Jesus Christ who, though once crucified, now lives. “This is a light that lives from sacrifice. The candle shines as it is burnt up. It gives light, inasmuch as it gives itself.” Christ, who gave himself for us on the Cross by his resurrection, brings a new light into the world – a light that dispels the darkness of sin and death that seemingly would overwhelm the world.

This darkness is seen in the wars that still beset our planet; in the poverty that dehumanizes too many members of the human family; in the fragile and broken relationships that divide us and prevent us from recognizing each other as children of the one Father, brothers and sisters to one another.

Archbishop Wenski blesses the New Fire at the Easter Vigil Mass at St. Mary Cathedral, April 9, 2023.

Photographer: JIM DAVIS | FC

Archbishop Wenski blesses the New Fire at the Easter Vigil Mass at St. Mary Cathedral, April 9, 2023.

On this night, this holy night, we are challenged to come out of the darkness into the light, the light of the Risen Christ, and to renounce the pomp and works of Satan as we renew our baptismal promises. We pledge to turn away from Satan, the prince of darkness; we pledge to no longer look for life among what is dead. Dying to sin with Christ, we rise with him to the new life of grace, walking through this world as children of the light.

Truly, the road to the happiness that every human being seeks is not found through his grasping for things, but through his giving of himself; it is not through self-assertion or self-seeking but through the forgetting of self and the surrender of his self to others and to the Other.

This is the radical way of life that baptism calls us to – for in baptism, we are reminded that we were created for life – eternal life that transcends the boundaries of this world and overcomes even the limitation of death. Our baptism stands as a radical witness today in a world that denies that man was created for anything else but death.

This sincere gift of oneself, through which we can become the persons God created us to be, is made possible only through one’s encounter with God. And this God is not far away or remote; he does not hide himself so as not to be found. In fact, in Jesus, God has found us. “By his stripes we have been healed.” Christ, in rising from the dead, saves all that is truly human and by the gift of his spirit makes it possible for us to live no longer for ourselves but for him.

Frè m ak sè m yo, jodi a se fete n ap fete Jezi ki te mouri leve byen vivan. Nou menm ki kwè nan li, nou batize nan lamò li ak nan leve li leve byen vivan. Se sa k ki fè kè n kontan malgre tout difikilte nou ka jwenn nan lavi a.

Men, nan kado lavi tou nèf Pak la ban nou an, nou jwenn egzijans Pak la tou: Pòl ki sen di nou: "si ou te leve soti vivan ansanm ak Kris la chèche sa ki anwo a". Menm jan ak Jezi, fò n toujou chèche fè volonte Papa l – nan tout bagay. Se konsa, limyè Jezi Kri, limyè Pak la pral klere wout nou – epi lanmò a pap gen denyè pawòl la nan istwa nou sou tè a.

La Luz, la nueva Luz del Cirio Pascual, iluminada este sábado de la gloria en la vigilia pascual, simboliza la Luz de Cristo que las tinieblas del pecado y de la muerte no pudieron vencer. En esta hermosa noche, Su Luz ilumina nuestro camino y fortalece nuestra esperanza. La luz dispersa la oscuridad, la vida vence a la muerte, y el amor conquista al pecado. Esta nueva vida que celebramos esta noche es el regalo precioso del Señor Resucitado para cada uno de nosotros. Que esta vida – recibida como un regalo, mas también confiada a nosotros como una tarea – crezca en cada uno de nosotros para producir en nuestra vida sus frutos de amor, alegría y paz, los frutos de la Vida Eterna. En Su Resurrección, Cristo renueva todo lo que es verdaderamente humano en nuestra vida. Por el don de Su Espíritu, Él hace que podamos no vivir más para nosotros mismos sino para Él.

Filled with the joy of Jesus’ victory, in which we learn that evil does not have the last word in human history, let us be confident witnesses of Jesus’ Resurrection by sharing the good news of his victory – and our victory in him – with our families, friends and co-workers. Let us bring “good news” to those who live without hope because they live without God, and share with them the light of the Gospel, the light that opens for the one who has faith a sure path to true joy, to lasting happiness and eternal peace. 

The Lord is risen! He is truly risen indeed.