2013
custodia.org

Do you know why Jerusalem is the first to celebrate the Easter Vigil?

To announce the resurrection of the Lord, Jerusalem before all other nations is the first to come to the tomb. Before the Fiji Islands and Micronesia, before all of Australia, Jerusalem crowds the deserted alleys at first light of day to come to the tomb.

The sun barely risen on this early spring day, the daughters of Jerusalem hurry to the Sepulcher.

An Easter Vigil at seven o’clock in the morning of… Saturday! Easter Vigil less than 24 hours after the death of the Lord! No Holy Saturday silence. A liturgical aberration?

Rational minds will tell you it’s because of the Status Quo. They will say that the rules that regulate the life of the churches who live together in the Basilica of the Resurrection have decided that it should be so, that the Roman Catholics, who are known here as “the Latins”, simply received that time slot…

But faith knows things that reason does not.

If Jerusalem anticipates the time in this way, it is because like Mary Magdalene, the sinner who was changed by the Lord’s love, Jerusalem has become the apostle to the apostles.
More than anyone else she hurries toward her salvation. She arrives first at the tomb to find the stone rolled back.

So the Franciscans of the Custody go to escort the patriarch to the Basilica. They are the first to arrive, but they leave him to preside over the joy of the Resurrection.
And a flame burns in the night. Christ, yesterday and today. Alpha and Omega.
Exultet. Let the trumpets sound triumphant for the victory of the great King!

Rereading the Scriptures, they understand that which the prophets announced. And they are renewed in their baptismal grace. And they participate in the Pascua of Lord by breaking the bread and sharing the wine. The crowd grows around them and sings the praises of the Lord with them… And they recognize HIM in the bread and the wine.

And their hearts burn within them as they return to announce the Good News to others.

The bells of Jerusalem sound so loudly that the Fiji Islands, Micronesia, and all of Australia hear the peal. From now, for hours and hours everywhere in the world the universe will sing Easter, announcing to the entire world: Christ has risen. He has truly risen!

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