Today we celebrate the culmination of the Easter Triduum which also marks the end of Mass which began on Holy Thursday. We last left Jesus' corpse being laid to rest in a tomb which had never been used. It is believed that when Jesus died on the cross, his soul descended into Hades. For souls to be in Hades it means that they are 'in limbo', which means that they are neither in Hell nor Heaven. It is said that when Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit and sin entered the world, the gates of heaven were sealed and no other soul were admitted to heaven, even the souls of righteous men such as Abraham, Elijah and Moses to name a few. As such, when Jesus died and descended into Hades, he went there to free the good souls that were deserving of heaven and so in the same way Jesus' body was revived with new life, the entombed souls were now set free into the glory of heaven. It is wisee that Jesus' death had purpose, to save us and to also save the righteous souls who were suffering.
The Gloria Saturday liturgy depicts Jesus coming out of the tomb and it is the most beautiful liturgy. This liturgy is sectioned into four main parts; The Service of Light, which reminds us, the faithful, that Jesus is the Light of the World, the Liturgy of the Word, which retells the marvels which God has done for his people, the Liturgy of Baptism, since new life is granted to us, we welcome new members into the Faith and where the faithful renews their baptismal promises and finally the Liturgy of the Eucharist where we now partake of the newly risen Christ.
Tonight we all rise out of the tomb with Christ and he promises us new life, and so we must do-away with the old habits and welcome new habits which are pleasing to God. The Epistle which we will hear from Paul's letter to the Romans 6:3-11 states that in the same way which we were baptized with Christ, we are given a new life and as Christ died, was buried and rose from the dead, we also do the same so our life is with God in Christ Jesus. It would be unfair to allow ourselves to fall back into the hands of sin. God's Holy Spirit is there to help us when we may feel weak.
Let us all not hesitate to rise with Christ into new life! Happy Easter!