No Ordinary Night

In 13 Today's Church on 2017/04/21 at 12:00 AM
  • Tonight is no ordinary night.
  • In the various readings from Sacred Scripture tonight, we have been reminded of thedramatic story of salvation history. We’ve heard of how our Lord created man and all ofcreation out of love.
  • We’ve learned the great lengths to which our Lord has gone throughout history to save usfrom eternal death, even being given a foreshadowing of His death on the cross in the storyof Abraham and Isaac.
  • Through the readings from the prophets, we’ve heard our Lord declare His undying love forus, and we’ve received His promise to be always with us, to provide for us, and ultimately tosave us, despite our sinful infidelity to Him.
  • And finally in the Gospel, we have peered into the empty tomb with Mary Magdalene andthe other Mary in search of Jesus. And tonight is the night that we find Him.
  • Tonight is no ordinary night.
  • Indeed, tonight four of you here are going to die. However, the death you will die is noordinary death, for it will not be your body that dies. Rather, you will die a spiritual death;you will die to sin.
  • The old man of sin, who has reigned within you up until this moment, will be crucified asyou are plunged into the life-giving waters of baptism.
  • Just as the Israelites passed through the waters of the Red Sea, and the evil Pharaoh and hislegions were drowned and washed away in those same waters, so too will every sin you’veever committed be washed away as you pass through the waters of baptism.
  • Afterwards, you will be clothed in a white garment as the outward sign of your newfounddignity. And the light of Christ will shine upon your soul, enlightening it with His truth, Hisgoodness, and His beauty.
  • Once you have passed through the sacred waters of baptism, you will join 5 others andtogether, the 9 of you will be strengthened by the Sacrament of Confirmation in order thatyou may live out your baptismal promises as good soldiers for Christ.
  • For all of you who receive it, the Sacrament of Confirmation will complete the good workbegun in you by the Sacrament of Baptism, and you will be given the grace to live ourCatholic faith with fidelity and courage.
  • But in His generosity, our Lord will not leave you on your own as you seek to practice yournewfound faith. Being a good shepherd, He feeds His flock with the best of foods.
  • As the Israelites were fed by our Lord during their years in the desert with manna, you, too,will receive the living bread that comes down from Heaven: the Eucharist, which will nourish and sustain you on your lifelong journey and complete your full incorporation into the Body of Christ!
  • Just as the Israelites of old covered the lintels of the doorways to their homes with the blood of the paschal lamb, so, too, will your lips – the entrance to the temple of your bodies – be covered with the Blood of Christ, who is the Lamb of God.
  • No, tonight is no ordinary night, for this is the most holy of nights. This is the night when Heaven is wedded to earth and man is reconciled with God! This is the night when Jesus Christ broke the chains of death and rose triumphant from the grave.
  • This is the night when Christians everywhere, washed clean of sin and freed from all defilement, are restored to grace and grow together in holiness.
  • This is the most blessed of all nights, a night chosen by God to see Christ rising from the dead! It is the night that dispels all evil, washes guilt away, restores lost innocence, brings mourners joy, casts out hatred, brings us peace, and humbles earthly pride.
  • To be sure, this is the night when our faith is confirmed and our hopes are fulfilled, for this is the night of our very salvation.
  • And because this is no ordinary night, the grace that is being held out to all of us is extraordinary, for it is the grace to die to sin so that we might live in union with Jesus.
  • “Consequently, you too must think of yourselves as being dead to sin and living for God in Christ Jesus.” And this we do simply by practicing our Catholic faith.
  • Being faithful to Mass and the Sacraments, praying daily, practicing the spiritual and corporal works of mercy, and following the teachings and traditions of the Church are all the ways we die to sin and live for God in Christ Jesus.
  • Doing all of this is not a demand made of us by God; it is a privilege extended to us. A privilege we should carry out with great love and humility, recognizing that all that we have and all that we are is a gift from God.
  • Tonight is no ordinary night. Tonight is the night of our salvation, which comes to us through the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church.
  • Let us embrace this beautiful Faith of ours and trust that in so doing, we will one day share in the joys of our Lord’s resurrection.

© Reverend Timothy Reid

Fr. Reid is the pastor of St. Ann Catholic Church, Charlotte, NC

Homilies from June 17, 2012 onward have audio .
To enable the audio, please go directly to Fr. Reid’s homily homilies and select the matching date.

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