Saturday, March 26, 2016


In the beginning, when God created the heavens and the earth,
the earth was a formless wasteland, and darkness covered the abyss,
while a mighty wind swept over the waters. Then God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.  Genesis 1:1-3

Then they returned from the tomb and announced all these things to the eleven and to all the others. The women were Mary Magdalene, Joanna, and Mary the mother of James; the others who accompanied them also told this to the apostles, but their story seemed like nonsense and they did not believe them. But Peter got up and ran to the tomb, bent down, and saw the burial cloths alone; then he went home amazed at what had happened.  Luke 24:9-12

On this most sacred night, in which our Lord Jesus Christ passed over from death to life, the Church calls upon her sons and daughters, scattered throughout the world, to come together to watch and pray. If we keep the memorial of the Lord's paschal solemnity in this way, listening to his word and celebrating his mysteries, then we shall have the sure hope of sharing his triumph over death and living with him in God.

Cursillo means “a short course” in Christianity which begins with the three-day weekend experience and continues throughout the Fourth Day of life.  If we get the short course over three days, what would it be called if we got the lessons of all salvation history in four hours?  Perhaps the piety, study and action of the Easter Vigil is a “crash course” in all salvation history from the dawn of creation through to this very day.  Put another way, this celebration is the “mother of all holy vigils,” according to St. Augustine. 

The word "Easter" comes from Old English, meaning simply the "East." The sun which rises in the East, bringing light, warmth and hope, is our symbol of the rising of the Son – Christ -- who is the true Light of the world.  Yet the Easter Vigil takes place entirely in darkness during the night…expressly not starting until 45 minutes after sunset even when it is daylight saving time and ending before the sun comes up. (Although we do turn the lights on FULL right before the Good News of Matthew is proclaimed.)  

The following is a “humble” attempt to provide the briefest possible overview how the weekend experience of Cursillo is a reflection of the high points of the Easter Vigil through parallels to the weekend meditations and talks.

Know Yourself:  The Church calls upon us all -- scattered throughout the world -- to come together to watch and pray.  We will listen to His word and celebrate His mysteries as we come to know ourselves just as we do in the opening “silent retreat” on Thursday night of the Cursillo weekend experience.

The Prodigal Son:  Sanctified by new fire after the Liturgy of the Light, we return to the Father and process into church for the paschal celebration inflamed with desire to be a part of the family of beloved sinners just as the Prodigal Son returns to the household of his birth.

Three Glances of Christ:  As the tapers light the sanctuary, the light of Christ dispels the darkness of our hearts and minds so that we can respond to the look of Christ’s love and His new light in our lives.

Ideal:  Is the Light of Christ your ideal?

God’s Friendship:  God loves us so much that God made us in his own image and likeness.  (Genesis 1)

Layperson in the Church:  Just as God put Abraham to the test, he calls us to leadership.  Can we also reply with the same words and spirit of Abraham and Isaiah, or Mary and Matthew?  “Here I am, Lord.  I come to do your will.” (Genesis 22)

Results of God’s Friendship:  God’s friendship will show me the path to life. (Psalm 65:8)

Piety:  “I will sing to the LORD, for he is gloriously triumphant.” Exodus 15:1B

The Person of Christ:  In Christ’s humanity, the One who has become your husband also is our Maker…with great tenderness the Lord will take us back. (Isaiah 54) 

Study: All who are thirsty for knowledge of the Lord should come to the water of His word!  (Isaiah 55)

Sacraments:  We experience Christ, THE Sacrament in many manifestations in tonight’s celebration.  We encounter him in the Church, the Sacrament of Christ; and in special ways in the Seven Sacraments of the Church, which can make us sacraments but especially in the Baptisms, Confirmations, and First Communions celebrated tonight. 

Action:  Walk by the light of Christ doing what pleases God (Baruch 3;4) 

Obstacles to a Life in God’s Friendship: God gives us a new heart and places a new spirit within us in order to overcome any obstacles that our desires place between us and God.  (Ezekiel 36)

Leaders:  If, then, we have died with Christ, we believe that as leaders in the Church, we shall also live with him. (Romans 6)

Christ’s Message to the Cursillista:  As the lights bathe us in warmth, we see and are amazed just as Peter was amazed that what Christ said and did came to be through His love.  “But Peter got up and ran to the tomb, bent down, and saw the burial cloths alone; then he went home amazed at what had happened." (Luke 24)

Study and Evangelization of Environment:  We have been enlightened by Christ through our initiation. We are asked to walk in teh world always as children of Christ’s light and keep the flame of faith alive in our hearts so it can spread to the world. When the Lord comes, may we rise up like the Father and rush out to meet him while he is still a long way off but coming to be our friend.

Living in God’s Friendship:  The promised strength of the Holy Spirit, which we received in the sacrament of Confirmation, will make us more like Christ and help us to be witnesses to his suffering, death, and resurrection. It will strengthen us to be active members of the Church and to build up the Body of Christ in faith and love.

Christian Community (in Action):  We ask the Father to graciously accept our service and the service of our whole Church family.

Group Reunion & Ultreya:  We ask God to make those nourished by this paschal Sacrament one in mind and heart carrying out the work of God’s hands and refreshing our minds, hearts and spirits as well as helping us to do the same for each other.


Go in peace to love and serve the Lord as a rejuvenated parish family and world church despite the darkness around us.  Let us take the light of Easter beyond the doors of the tomb and the church just as the women of the community and the apostles did.

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