Sunday, April 16, 2006

Ancient Easter vigil homily

God has died in the flesh and hell trembles with fear. He has gone to search for Adam, as for a lost sheep. He has gone to free from sorrow the captives Adam and Eve. At the sight of him, Adam, the first man he had created, struck his breast in terror. Christ took him by the hand and raised him up, saying, "Awake O sleeper, and rise from the dead, and Christ will give you light. I am your God, who for your sake have become your son. Out of love for you and for your descendants I now by my own authority command all who are held in bondage to come forth, all who are in darkness to be enlightened, all who are sleeping to arise. I order you, O sleeper, to awake. I did not create you to be held a prisoner in hell. Rise from the dead, for I am the life of the dead. Rise up, work of my hands, you who were created in my image. Rise, let us leave this place, for you are in me and I am in you; together we form only one person and we cannot be separated. Rise, let us leave this place. The enemy led you out of the earthly paradise. I will not restore you to that paradise, but I will enthrone you in heaven. I forbade you the tree that was only a symbol of life, but see, I who am life itself am now one with you. I appointed cherubim to guard you, but now I make them worship you. The throne formed by cherubim awaits you, its bearers swift and eager. The bridal chamber is adorned, the banquet is ready, the eternal dwelling places are prepared, the treasure houses of all good things are open. The kingdom of heaven has been prepared for you from all eternity!"
Rejoice, all, in the Resurrection!

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