The Easter Vigil, 4th April 2021
It was night. And Judas leaves. Night forever associated with spiritual darkness, with sin. And so associated with all times of darkness, moral, physical, alone or with others. This past year we’ve shared a communal darkness with most, if not all, our sisters and brothers who share this fragile planet and fragile life with us. It’s been a long night, not yet over, and never fully over in this present life. A night which has highlighted the precariousness of our human condition but which has also brought us light, the many lights of individual and communal kindness which have told us that humanity is fundamentally good. And this goodness, this good light, divided but undimmed, is what we are celebrating this Easter in the person of Christ. Christ, that is, as creator, sustainer and final judge of all that is good: the light, indeed, from which all other light comes and, in the words of Sr Zoë from 2008, is the light of resurrection which illuminates but does not obliterate Golgotha and Calvary (and) will give us light enough for our (future) path, in the long night, not yet over, andnever fully over in this present life. And, if I may quote her further, she went on to use a marvellous image of what walking in this light can mean.
As I turned from the fire, carrying the Paschal Candle, to lead the community to our chapel, I hesitated. From the brightness of the fire to the darkness of the night I was left blinded, and the flame of the candle I carried made no impression on the darkness. I had to step out in faith. But, as I walked, I became aware that the light from all the small candles behind me was reaching out to my right and my left to give light to my path. And I thought about Jesus and wondered if he went to his passion aware of all the lights behind him, lights that he himself had lit and would be lighting until the end of time. I wondered if they reached out and helped him see his way.Sr Zoë Davis, Turvey Abbey
I am the light of the world, says Christ—and, in Christ, we too, become light for one another.