Julie Storr shares a reflection on the Collect for the Mass for the Easter Vigil.
Today we Lectio the Liturgy with the Collect for Easter Vigil in the Holy Night. There is something special about this night and it is only found in this night.
O God, who make this most sacred night radiant with the glory of the Lord’s Resurrection, stir up in your Church a spirit of adoption, so that, renewed in body and mind, we may render you undivided service. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever.
Did you catch it? This night starts in darkness like every other night before it, but ends with the Resurrection of Jesus.
The very first Easter Vigil that I attended was the night when I joined the Catholic Church. What washed over me that night was that over 2,000 years ago, people were sitting in darkness, just like me and everyone else in the church. But what those people long ago did not know that this night would change everything for all time.
The readings of this Mass take us through the events of salvation history: Creation, Abraham and Isaac, and Moses parting the Red Sea. Each of these events tell us how God led His people and they point to the One who is to come.
I’ve been thinking about three more events that for the majority in the natural world, went unnoticed, but those events have rocked the supernatural world. Not many people were aware that God had taken human form and came to dwell on earth, but Satan knew. There were more people who, at the Crucifixion of Jesus, came to know that He was truly the Son of God. However Satan already knew that, and he probably rejoiced because in his eyes, he thought he had the victory.
It’s this night, the vigil of Easter, that changes it all. This is the night that Jesus defeated sin and death. The human race has been redeemed. We, who were up for adoption, have been claimed as children of God.
In the petition, or the Do of the prayer, we ask God to stir up in the Church a spirit of adoption.
Romans 8:15 tells us that that we are no longer under the spirit of bondage, or in slavery to fear, but we received the spirit of adoption. St. Augustine wrote that the spirit of adoption is the Holy Spirit, it is God’s divine life in us. The Catechism of the Catholic Church (690) says that the mission of the Spirit of adoption is to unite God’s children to Christ that they may live in Him.
That third event the rocked the supernatural? It’s right here. This is the night that told Satan that he had lost. Know that he is not going down without a fight.
Know not only who you are but whose you are. We have been purchased with a price, we have been renewed and our prayer is to render, or give, God our undivided service.
What is undivided service? Let’s look at what divided service means. Divided service means our faith is a part of our life, it’s on the list of important things, though, but it’s not number one.
An undivided service is one that strives to be in communion with God every moment of the day. Decisions and actions are made to be in align with God’s will. Out of love for God, there is a desire to please Him and grow close to Him. God comes first.
We should live for and serve only Him and we can only do that when we are renewed, body and mind, confident in the love we have in our Father, who proved His love for us with the death and Resurrection of Our Lord.
Lectio the Liturgy:
This is a great week to reflect on what the night before Easter means to you. Imagine yourself back in time, mourning His death, not knowing how in just a few hours, Jesus would change the stakes for all people for all eternity. From His pain and suffering comes the most glorious day ever. Consider where would your life be without this day.
Thanks for praying with me.
Copyright 2022 Julie Storr
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About the Author
Julie Storr is a convert who is in awe of the depth of the relationship with God that can be found in the Catholic Church. She is a Benedictine Oblate of Conception Abbey. Julie and her husband live in Pocahontas, Iowa. They have two grown sons and are excited to be expecting a daughter-in-law this summer. Visit her website at LectioTheLiturgy.com.