Vatican Easter Vigil: 'Resurrection concerns whole of history'

 At 10 this evening in St Peter's Basilica, the Pope presided at the solemn Easter vigil during which he administered the Sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation to seven catechumens from Albania, Belarus, Peru, Japan, Colombia and Cameroon. The celebration started in the atrium of St. Peter's where the Holy Father blessed the new fire and lighted the Easter candle. This was followed by the procession into the basilica with the candle and the singing the "Exultet." Then came the Liturgy of the Word and the Baptismal and Eucharistic Liturgies which the Holy Father concelebrated with cardinals. Referring to the significance of Christ's resurrection, Benedict XVI described it as "the 'greatest 'mutation,' absolutely the most crucial leap into a totally new dimension that there has ever been in the long history of life and its development: a leap into a completely new order which does concern us, and concerns the whole of history." "It is clear," he went on, "that this event is not just some miracle from the past, the occurrence of which could be ultimately a matter of indifference to us. It is a qualitative leap in the history of 'evolution' and of life in general towards a new future life, towards a new world which, starting from Christ, already continuously permeates this world of ours, transforms it and draws it to itself. "But how does this happen?" Benedict XVI asked. "How can this event effectively reach me and draw my life upwards towards itself? The answer, perhaps surprising at first but totally real, is: this event comes to me through faith and Baptism. For this reason Baptism is part of the Easter Vigil. ... Baptism is something quite different from an act of ecclesial socialization, from a slightly old-fashioned and complicated rite for receiving people into the Church. It is also more than a simple washing, more than a kind of purification and beautification of the soul. It is truly death and resurrection, rebirth, transformation to a new life." "The great explosion of the resurrection has seized us in Baptism so as to draw us on. Thus we are associated with a new dimension of life into which, amid the tribulations of our day, we are already in some way introduced. To live one's own life as a continual entry into this open space: this is the meaning of being baptized, of being Christian. This is the joy of the Easter Vigil." The Holy Father stressed how "the resurrection is not a thing of the past, the resurrection has reached us and seized us. We grasp hold of it, we grasp hold of the Risen Lord, and we know that He holds us firmly even when our hands grow weak. We grasp hold of His hand, and thus we also hold on to one another's hands, and we become one single subject, not just one thing." "'I, but no longer I.' If we live in this way, we transform the world. It is a formula contrary to all ideologies of violence, it is a program opposed to corruption and to the desire for power and possession. ... 'I, but no longer I.' This is the way of the cross, the way that 'crosses over' a life simply closed in on the I, thereby opening up the road towards true and lasting joy." Source: VIS

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